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Building Code of Australia Building ApprovalsSome questions commonly asked by our clients:

Do I need building approval or building permit?

A building development approval for building work is required before starting construction on most types of domestic building work. These approvals are also known as building permits or building approvals and are issued by an accredited building certifier.

Generally, minor building work is considered to be ‘self-assessable’. Self-assessable building work does not need a building permit. It is important to note that whilst no building permit is needed for self-assessable building work, the work must still comply with any applicable development code or planning scheme. See below for examples of self-assessable building work:

  • Unroofed deck (note: plan area less than 10m2, deck is less than 1m above natural ground level and any side of the deck is less than 5m in length);
  • Patio roof structure (note: plan area less than 10m2, overall height less than 2.4m and a mean height of 2.1m above natural ground level);
  • Small garden or tool shed (note: plan area less than 10m2, overall height less than 2.4m and a mean height of 2.1m above natural ground level);
  • Fences up to 2m high above natural ground level (note: excludes fencing for a swimming pool);
  • 1m high (above natural ground level) minor retaining wall structures (note: retaining wall to be 1.5m minimum from a building and other retaining wall structures and not affected by surcharge loads from adjacent buildings or driveways, etc.).

Building work that is not self-assessable is known as assessable development and requires a building permit. Assessable building work must comply with any planning scheme requirements. See below for examples of assessable building work:

  • New dwelling, duplexes, secondary dwellings;
  • Dwelling alterations or additions;
  • Decks, patio roof, pergolas, bali hut, gazebo (where not self-assessable building work);
  • Sheds and carports.

Still unsure or need more information? Please give us a call on 1300 885 229 to discuss your project.

What is building certification?

Building certification is a process that involves a building certifier independently checking and approving proposed building work to ensure it complies with the Building Act 1975, Building Code of Australia, Queensland Development Codes and relevant Australian Standards.

What is a building certifier and what do they do?

Building certifiers are professionals within the building and construction industry responsible for assessing whether proposed building work complies with all relevant provisions of the Building Act 1975, Building Code of Australia, Queensland Development Codes and relevant Australian Standards. Building certifiers are also responsible for issuing building approvals for proposed building work and, for carrying out inspection of approved building work, at certain stages of construction.

Building certifiers are licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (formerly the Building Services Authority). Building certifiers must be a member of a professional body and undertake ongoing professional development as part of their licensing requirements.

Greg holds a bachelors degree in building surveying, graduate certificate in building fire safety and graduate diploma in fire safety engineering. Greg has been a professional building certifier and an active member of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors for 16 years.

What is involved in getting a building permit?

The building approval process commences with a client lodging a building application for proposed building work with BA Group. The application is made up of application form, plans, engineering and other relevant documentation need for the certifier to assess the building application. If we need any more information we will send you an email listing the information required. Once this information is supplied we will complete our assessment and decide the application.

At this stage a building permit will be issued along with stamped approved plans, engineering and supporting documentation to our client, with a copy lodged for archiving at Council. At this stage building work is approved to commence. Inspection of building work is carried out at several stages; footing stage, slab stage, frame stage and final stage. Inspection of building work is undertaken by both building certifier and competent persons (for example, a registered engineer may inspect footing, slab and frame stage and issue an inspection certificate to the building certifier).

Once the building work has been completed and a satisfactory final inspection carried out by the building certifier a final inspection certificate will be issued to the client for their records and a copy will be sent to Council for archiving. This completes the building approval process. Our simplified flowchart below shows the general stages of the building approval process.

Step 1 – Lodge Building Application for Proposed Building Work

Step 2 – Application is Assessed by Building Certifier

Step 3 – Building Application is Decided and Building Permit Issued

Step 4 – Building Work Commences and Inspections Carried Out

Step 5 – Building Work Completed and Final Inspection Satisfactory

Step 6 – Final Certificate Issued by Building Certifier

How long does it take to get building approval?

Whilst each project is different, we aim to provide a five to ten business day assessment period for most residential projects. This is subject to all necessary information being supplied and, no other external approvals need (for example Council approval for a reduced road front boundary setback for a new dwelling). Commercial project times will vary based on project complexity. Please give a us a call on 1300 885 229 to discuss your next commercial project.

We are aware of client project timelines and are always willing to work closely with you to achieve delivery of your project on time.

How much does it cost?

Again each project is different and not always in the same Council area. Things that can affect costs include number of inspections, type of project (residential, commercial, industrial), Council area (archive fees, plumbing fees, etc. will vary), Referral Agency’s (siting variations, etc. will vary from Council to Council). Please give us a call on 1300 885 229 for a quote on your next project.

The importance of getting a final certificate

All building permits require building work to be completed within a certain period of time. Typically, building permits are issued for a period of 2 years. A reminder notice will be issued to the owner 6 months from the expiry date of the permit. The expiry date is known as the lapsing date. If building work is not completed and finalised by the lapsing date the building permit will lapse. Completed building work means all building work has been completed, the building certifier has carried out a satisfactory final inspection and received all project certificates (supplied by the builder) and, the building certifier has issued a final certificate.

It is really important that you ensure you obtain a final certificate from your building certifier prior to expiry of your building permit as once the permit has lapsed the building work will be unable to be finalised. When this happens a new building permit is needed in order to finalise the original building work.

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