You are here

Building Permits

Building permits

Share on:

Getting a Building PermitAll councils and local authorities have rules for building a new home or adding to an existing home. Building permits enforce the building codes for your state and ensures compliance with building law and encourages good building design.When is a building permit required?A building permit is required for most types of construction, however there are some exemptions. These can be obtained from your local council. However the most common type of exemption to building permits includes: 

  • Garden Sheds
  • Spa baths with less than 300mm in depth
  • Small pergolas
  • Small animal housing

There are many more however you should check with your local council because the rules do vary depending on the area council. For example: One local council may let you build a small pergola of less than 15 square metres, however another council will allow more or less. For all large or major construction and any change to the existing structure a building permit will be required. How to obtain a building permit?You will need an application form for your local council and many of these how are available online with your local council. After you fill in your form the building permit application will be assessed by the municipal building surveyor who will check you are build a structure that meets the building and environmental codes. You will also have to pay a fee for your building permit and these fees vary from council to council.So what do they check for?They will check your design and structure against the building regulations. The following are the main factors they will check:

  • Building setbacks from boundaries
  • Building setback from streets
  • Overlooks of neighbours’ windows within 9 metres
  • Overshadowing of neighbours secluded private open spaces
  • Car parking
  • Site coverage
  • Permeability of site
  • Maximum building height
  • Maximum wall length on boundary
  • Daylight to existing neighbours’ windows
  • Private open space
  • Fencing
  • Drainage and stormwater
  • Materials used
  • Energy rating

Most new homes or new custom built structures will also require a structural engineer to approve the use and sizing of the materials used. This engineer will look over the plans and make sure they will be strong enough to be safely used. Building permits take around 6 weeks for approval, however some councils take 6 months so be prepared by asking your council for a copy of the building regulations and match for building to them.