Q. What are Building Permits?
Building permits control the construction of building work to enhance the amenity of buildings and protect people using them. They show that a building surveyor has checked and approved the plans for building work prior to its commencement.
Under State legislation a building permit is required before commencement of most building work. The definition of ‘building work’ in the legislation includes new building, demolition and/or alteration.
Undertaking building work without obtaining the necessary building permit is a serious offence and can result in severe penalties.
Building permits are issued by a municipal (Council based) or private building surveyor (Ie PROVIC Building Approvals).
Q. What are the steps in getting a Building Permit?
Start planning the project. Identify all planning requirements and potential constraints to the site. Discuss with your neighbour.
Engage a draftsman or architect to draw up plans, ensure they are aware of any site constraints. If you are constructing a prefabricated shed or building then all constructions plans should be supplied by the manufacturer.
Engage Building Surveyor. This includes the completion of an Authority to Act Form.
Submit final plans and signed Building Permit Application Form to Building Surveyor with complete documentation and payment. The more complete your application the faster is can be assessed.
Building Surveyor will notify Council of your application and pay a Building Commission Levy based on cost of works. A note is placed on the Property File at Council.
You (the applicant) will receive a stamped building permit by mail.
You are now able to commence construction, display Building Permit number on the sign provided by PROVIC in a visible location at the front of the property.
The Building Surveyor (or Building Inspector engaged by the Surveyor) will inspect works in progress. Inspections usually include a stump hole inspection, frame inspection and a completion of works or final inspection. These inspections are organised by the builder or the property owner if an owner builder project. 48 hours notice is required for all inspections.
Upon completion of works and final inspection then the Occupancy Permit will be provided by mail.
Council will be sent a copy of the Occupancy Certificant and this will be added to your Property File.
Q. How much will it cost to get a Building Permit?
Standard fees for a Building Permit may include the following:
- The cost of the Building Surveyor to assess and prepare documentation
- The cost of inspections
- The Governments Building Levy
- Council permit lodgement fees
- The cost of property information requests to the relevant Council
- The cost of certificate and title searches
- Ancillary costs e.g. photocopy costs, travel costs etc
Q. Will my architect or draftsman organise my permit for me?
Q. What forms do I need to fill out?
- Building Permit Application Form
- Agent Authority Form (not required by Owner Builder)
- Terms of Appointment of the Relevant Building Surveyor
If you are using a builder or draftsman or Architect then they generally complete this documentation on your behalf.
Q. Why obtain a building permit?
A building permit ensures:
- The required building practitioners are registered and carry insurance
- Adequate documentation is prepared to enable proper and complying construction of the proposed building
- An independent review of building documentation occurs
- Key stages of the work are independently inspected
- Your building is independently assessed as suitable for occupation.
Other benefits for owners include the certainty of compliance with building legislation prior to building work commencing. This can ease the preparation of compliance reports, which may be required when selling your property.
Q. What documentation is required to get a Building Permit.
Each building permit application must contain information sufficient to demonstrate that the building work will comply with the Building Regulations and Building Act.
Items that must be attached to your Building Permit Application:
- permit application fee, statutory levies and any charges required to be paid to outside authorities;
- 3 copies of design documents to show compliance with the Building Regulations. Plans must be to scale and include a site plan including a north point, allotment dimensions, nearest street/intersection, any easements, position of building(s) on site, levels and stormwater layout (1:500); a copy of a certificate of title of the allotment with evidence of ownership; where relevant, a building floor plan (each floor level) (1:100); external and sectional elevations (1:100); details of any footings and framing members (1:100, 1:20);
- in the case of alterations and additions, plans of existing site conditions with the new work clearly differentiated (we prefer the new work to be shown colour-coded);
- evidence of suitability that a material or design meets its performance requirement or deemed to satisfy provision;
- project specifications;
- any structural drawings and computations. Please note that the Building Surveyor may request engineering design certification.
Further documents that may be required to be attached to the application:
- re-establishment survey plan prepared by a licensed land surveyor;
- details of any town planning permit and endorsed plans;
- evidence of domestic building warranty insurance if the cost of building work is over $12,000 (if not owner/builder) NB- You must have a written major domestic building contract when using certain tradespersons where the cost of building work is over $5000;
- details of any protection of adjoining property before and during building work;
- details of any precautions to protect the safety of the public before and during the building work.
Specifically for Owner/Builders
There are special requirements for the issuing of building permits to owner builders. Please call PROVIC to discuss.