These are technical drawings demonstrating compliance with the National Construction Code (N.C.C.A) & relevant Australian Standards. Plans and documentation relating to your proposed building are used to obtain a building permit through a registered building surveyor. Plans can then be used to obtain a building quote and along with other relevant consultant’s plans will be used by your builder to construct your home. Plans include general notes, site plans, floor plans, elevations, sections & details.
What is a Building Permit?
A building permit is a document issued from a registered building surveyor certifying that your plans comply with the Building Regulations, Australian Standards and relevant documents pertinent to your project. These standards are intended to ensure the safety of the current and future owners as well as the public. The Building Act 1993 requires a building permit to be issued before a person can carry out building work and likewise a demolition permit is mandatory preceding demolition work. A building permit specifies at what stage a surveyor is required to inspect building works and when an occupancy permit is required. A final inspection is necessary upon completion.
Who issues Building Permits?
Only a licensed building surveyor can issue building permits. There are two categories of building surveyors; municipal building surveyors who are attached to the council building department and independent building surveyors who are independent of council.
How do I know if I need a Building Permit?
You need a building permit to carry out most construction works. Building permit requirements are based on the extent of building work rather than the previous $5,000 limit, requiring the need for garages, carports and pergolas to have a building permit. The building regulations recognise that some building work is minor and may exempt property owners from having to obtain a building permit.
You may not require a building permit if your project fits into the following criteria:
- Repair work done for maintenance purposes for example replacing rotted weatherboards.
- Works do not affect the structural integrity of the building.
- Works do not affect the safety of the public or occupants of the building.
- Works do not encroach beyond the street alignment.
- Works carried out are not in connection with a historical building.
- Works are not carried out over an easement.
- Works do not interfere or related to emergency services such as fire sprinklers, smoke detectors and alarms, fire rated structures etc.
It is your responsibility as the property owner/s to ensure that a building permit is in place prior to commencement of building works or guarantee that the proposed works are exempt under the building regulations from requiring a building permit. When in doubt call your local building department. See list of works below which require/ exempt a building permit.
|Type of works||Building permit required||Yes / No|
|Additions||Additions to a residence or any other building.||Yes|
|Alterations||Structural alterations to a residence or any other building.||Yes|
|Alteration to a building in a heritage act.||Yes|
|Carports/garages||A carport/ garage built to the ResCode standard will have a floor area greater than 10m².||Yes|
|Attached to another building.||Yes|
|Setback less than the allowed street setback.||Yes|
|Construction requiring report & consent of council.||Yes|
|Demolition||All demolition/removal work (except some minor work & outbuildings).||Yes|
|Fences||Construction of a side boundary fence less than 2 metres high.||No|
|Construction of a timber front fence more than 1.5 metres high.||Yes|
|Construction of a brick front fence more than 1.2 metres high.||Yes|
|Construction of a side boundary fence more than 2 metres high.||Yes|
|Construction of a fence that is more than 1.0 metre high, within 9m of the point of a street intersection (generally corner allotments).||Yes|
|Construction of a fence that is associated with forming part of swimming pool safety barriers.||Yes|
|Construction of a chain wire tennis court fence.||No|
|Pergolas/Verandahs||Construction of a pergola (unroofed) associated with a house; not exceeding 20m² in area; not more than 3m high; and located no further forward on the allotment than the allowed setback.||No|
|Construction of a pergola (unroofed) associated with any other building.||Yes|
|Construction of a verandah (roofed) attached to any building.||Yes|
|Reblocking/underpinning||Reblocking/ restumping/ underpining of an existing building.||Yes|
|Retaining walls||Constructed on or near site boundaries (any height) (with protection of adjoining property).||Yes|
|Construction of a retaining wall 1m or more in height.||Yes|
|Roofing||Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with concrete or terracotta roofing tiles.||Yes|
|Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with ‘Colorbond’ or other pre-finished sheeting.||No|
|Safety Services||Changes to any essential safety measures (ie. exit signs, fire sprinklers, emergency lighting, exit paths etc.)||Yes|
|Building Use||Change of use of a building||Yes|
|Swimming pools/spas||Construction of all swimming pools/ spas 300 mm or greater in depth.||Yes|
|Windows||Replacement of windows with similar type windows and where no structural alterations are required (except under heritage act).||No|
|Sheds||Erection of a shed less than 10m² in area; not more than 3m high; not constructed of masonry; and located no further forward on the allotment than the allowed street setback.||No|
|Erection of a shed more than 10m² in area.||Yes|
What will happen if I don’t get a building permit when I needed one?
You will be issued with a stop works notice outlining a timeframe for your illegal works to be certified by a building surveyor. Building plans along with other necessary consultant’s documents/ plans are still required. If you do not obtain a permit within the time allotted you will be forced to demolish the works or face large fines.
An owner-builder is someone who takes on most of the responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their land. It can be very rewarding and cost saving, however it comes with many responsibilities which should be looked into beforehand.
- As an owner-builder you would need to obtain building permits, supervise or undertake the building work and ensure the work meets building regulations and standards.
- In Victoria, an owner-builder can only build or renovate one house every three years and must intend to live in the house once completed.
- If you wish to be an owner-builder and the value of the proposed building work is more than $12,000 (including labour costs and materials) you will need to apply for a Certificate of Consent from the Building Practitioners Board before you can proceed with your project.
We can assist you by producing well documented plans for your building permit. Click on the link to find out more: http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/owner-builders
What am I required to submit to the building surveyor to get a building permit?
The list below contains some of the items that your building surveyor will require when assessing your application.
- Completed building surveyors application form.
- 3 copies of the construction drawings accurately showing what is proposed and how it is to be built.
- A site plan with contours and site levels showing the proposed works.
- 3 current copies of title.
- The builder’s registration number and insurance information or owner builder forms.
- Location and connection method to the drainage legal point of discharge.
Depending on your project your building surveyor may also ask for:
- Plans endorsed by council and a copy of permit.
- Copies of engineer’s plans, certificates and computations; structural, drainage and geotechnical engineering.
- Land surveyors plans.
- 3 copies of a thermal performance assessment.
- 3 copies of the bush fire assessment.
- Flood level information.
For more information please visit this web site http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_reg/br2006200/s302.html
How much do our construction drawings / building permit services cost?
The cost of our construction drawings / building permit services vary depending on the site and its restrictions, the size of the development and the level of detail required. We encourage you to contact us either via phone or email to obtain a quote.