Why Are Building Permits Necessary in Australia?

The prospect of developing or renovating a property can be extremely exciting. Whether you are planning to do it yourself or use professional builders, you’re going to want to ensure that all the necessary permits are in place before any walls are taken down. A building permit is designed to verify the safety, health and structural stability of a building. Besides serving this fundamental purpose, a building permit makes sure that your property plans are in line with environmental, heritage and planning regulations. At Online Permit Solutions, we offer superior building approvals in Australia. You can apply for an online building permit by filling out a building permit application form.

When is a Building Permit Required?

Building permits are required for almost all building work. They are always required for renovations that change the structure or shape of your building, including the addition of new windows or door openings, and the knocking down or adding of internal walls. If you are looking to add structures to your property, such as carports and pergolas–a building permit will also be required.

While pretty much all major work requires a building permit, minor internal and external changes do not necessitate that you obtain one. For example, if you’re painting, changing out cabinets, or replacing existing doors and windows with those of the same size—you won’t require a building permit.

It is also important to note that if you are undertaking demolition work on your property, such as knocking down a garage or fence, you may need a building permit. This applies to demolitions that are over 40 square meters in size, made of masonry, or have some effect on public space.

What Does a Building Permit Ensure?

A building permit in Australia is designed to ensure a few key things:

  • That any required building practitioners are registered and insured
  • That the building work is independently inspected at each key stage of the process
  • That your building is independently assessed as suitable for occupation
  • That the correct documentation is prepared. This allows for compliant construction of your building 

How Do I Obtain a Building Permit?

In order to obtain a building permit, you must use the services of a building surveyor. They may be a private building surveyor, or a municipal building surveyor. While you may get your architect or builder to apply on your behalf, you will still be fully responsible for the building permit in question. In order for an architect or builder to apply for you, you must first authorise in writing permission for them to do so.

Once your building permit has been lodged with a building surveyor, they will assess it and check for compliance with Australian building laws and legislation. After this process, they can either issue a building permit with or without conditions, or in some instances, refuse it all together. If your permit is refused, you may either alter the application to match with compliance, or appeal the refusal to the Building Appeals Board.

What is Required to Get Approval?

Depending on what kind of project you are undertaking, the rules of your local council and the building surveyor you select; there are varying requirements you need to fulfil in order to be approved for a building permit. For most simple interior renovations, it will be enough for you to provide a scale floor plan. On the other hand, if you are embarking on a larger project involving major structural renovations or additions, you may be required to submit a full set of working drawings and you might even need a site survey.

When undertaking any major construction on a building, it is always best to consult a professional building surveyor to ensure that your project is within regulation. If for some reason a building permit is not obtained when it is required, the local council may fine you for not complying with The Building Act.

To find out exactly what you will need to submit to be approved for a building permit, contact us or call 03 8582 8500. An expert from our team will be able to guide you through the entire process and help you obtain your building permit.