What you need to know about building permits

One of the questions we get asked by the majority of our clients is do I need to apply for a building permit? In the vast majority of cases the answer is yes. I guess we should start with the first and foremost what is a building permit? A building permit ensures that standards are established, maintained and improved for the construction and maintenance of buildings and in most cases are required for new buildings, alterations, demolitions and removals.

The Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2018 legislate that all building work is subject to the issuing of a building permit, unless an exemption exists for the proposed work under the regulations, this means that the majority of the work we do most definitely needs a building permit with the exception being, construction of a freestanding unit that has a floor area that is less than 10m² and no more than 3m in height (or 2.4m within 1m of a boundary), there are other exceptions but they generally do not adhere to the structures that we provide. Any unit that is attached to an existing building is considered as altering the floor area of the existing building and a building permit is always required.

The first step in the process of obtaining a building permit for your proposed works is to create the architectural plans the time frame for this varies with each job offering its own set of challenges. Once the architectural plans of the proposed works are complete they along with all other accompanying documents are sent off with the application for a building permit to a surveyor. Any surveyor can provide you with a building permit, whether its the relevant municipal building surveyor at your local council or an independent building surveyor. Once the surveyor has looked at the architectural plans and the accompanying documents they will decide if your proposed works meet the requirements for a building permit or if further information is required, this further information is information that is relevant for the surveyor to decide if your design meets the requirements for a building permit and can include things such as but not limited to the report and consent of the relevant council when the design doesn’t quite meet the building regulations, this can be quite a lengthy process which can include more than one authority that needs to give their consent for the works to proceed.

Once a building permit has been issued you have a time frame of two years from the date of issue to complete the proposed works relevant to the building permit, if the works are not complete within this time you must apply for an extension of time which may or may not be granted depending on the circumstances.

Throughout the building process there can be a number of inspections that take place to ensure that the structure is being built according to the building permit, building regulations and building code of Australia, these inspections generally include a pad hole inspection as well as a final inspection with construction not able to proceed without the pad holes for the footings being inspected. If the structure passes the final inspection a certificate of final inspection is supplied by the relevant building surveyor which means that proposed works are now complete and the client can now enjoy their new patio.

At Designer Pergolas & Carports we take care of the whole building permit process, with our professional in house plans and permits department providing the architectural plans and dealing with the relevant building surveyor, relevant council and other reporting authorities along the way, this means that you can relax and let us do all the work. You can contact Designer Pergolas & Carports to arrange for your free measure and quote, and remember at Designer Pergolas & Carports “we’ve got you covered”.