Almost Anything Built Requires a Building Permit


“Do I need a Building Permit”

This type question is a common question coming from emails and telephone calls almost everyday.

Clients are provided on a daily basis misinformation by friends, builders and councils concerning the need to get a building permit and frustratingly from councils what may be required to achieve that goal.

A recent article in the BDAV news on this subject provided some great pointers.

Why get a Building Permit?

“The issuing of a building permit ensures that the building work is built in compliance with the Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2006″ said Deputy Building Commissioner Neil Savery. ” In doing so, the building permit is designed to protect your building and more importantly, those who occupy it.”

Mr. Savery’s main points relating to “do your research before commencing building or renovation works”. He said ” contact your local council building surveyor or engage a private building surveyor for advice” he said.

Whilst good advice, many owners complain that their council particularly, remain elusive to discuss a “rate payers” enquiry.  Requiring advanced plans or delegating receptionists to respond to enquiry. This process creates significant confusion and misinformation and in my experience frustration where client hear only “the builders” advice – “you don’t need a permit and I can start straight away for a cash deal”.

This approach often spells lasting consequences particularly when you go to sell or if there’s is a compliant to council or council becomes aware of a building or renovation without appropriate permits..

The facts are that outcomes above are so common for many small projects, that I would personally be surprised if more than 50% of projects that require a building permit actually receive a permit. Simply put many owners play the odds.

To obtain a Building Permit

  • Discuss with your council Building Surveyor what your proposing to do. Establish some can and cannot’s for your project.
  • Engage a Drafting company to provide design and possibly building advice and services
  • Apply for any permissions such as town planning that maybe be required prior to applying for a building permit
  • Apply for a building permit though your Council or a private building surveyor.
  • Check that the Building Surveyor is registered. Also check their fees for issuing the permit and carrying out the inspections.
  • Pay the appropriate fee and levies, and submit copies of drawings, specifications, and allotment plans and any other documents required by the relevant building surveyor, along with a completed application form.

The above process sounds a daunting prospect for many owners. Often it is straight forward and a reasonably quick process once items prepared.

At the Project Centre we can assist our clients with the full process of gaining a Building Permit when we providing their plans. We are happy to review your project. Why not ring to make an appointment to discuss your project.

Check out our web site detailing our services prior to starting your next building project

For further information contact the Building Commission on 1300 815 127 or go to

Prepared for: The Project Centre – Narre Warren

Address: Factory 1 – 26/28 Abbott Road Hallam

Telephone: 03-9796 6899

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