Do I need a building permit?

1. Overview

The Building Regulations stipulates that all building work requires a building permit, unless the work is specifically exempt under schedule 3 of the regulations. A building permit is written approval from a registered building surveyor certifying that your plans comply with the Building Regulations. Apply for a building permit here.

You must have a Building Permit before any work can begin.  Please note you may also need a Planning Permit for the proposed works (even where a building permit may not be required).  Penalties may apply if you commence building work without the correct permits, you may also be compelled to demolish illegal buildings, so never rely on informal advice that permits are not needed.

Select a category above for a list of works that require a Building Permit.

Several items in Schedule 3 of the Building Regulations 2018 exempt work from the requirement for a building and occupancy permit if the building work will not "adversely affect the structural soundness of the building" and "will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building". These terms should be interpreted to apply to the construction process and the completed building.  For example, even if the finished building will be structurally sound, if during construction there will be an adverse effect on any structural element or on the safety of the public or occupiers then the exemption does not apply. This means that any building work which involves work to structural or load bearing elements of an existing building, regardless of cost, will require a building permit.

Always speak to a registered building surveyor before you commence work to ensure you have the required approvals in place.

2. Dwellings (Class 1a)

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Addition/Extension

Additions to a dwelling or any other building

Yes

Alterations (Structural)

Structural alterations to a dwelling or any other building; or

Removal of or alteration to a load-bearing part or a part contributing to the support of a building. (e.g. a wall supporting a ceiling and/or roof propping or required for bracing the structure against wind or movement).

Yes

Alterations (Non-structural)

Alterations to a building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • will not project beyond the street alignment; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • is not work carried out on, or in connection with, a building included on the Heritage Register within the meaning of the Heritage Act 2017; and
  • is not work in relation to, and will not adversely affect, an essential safety measure relating to the building

e.g. Remodeling of a bathroom or kitchen, replacement of internal wall and ceiling linings and replacement of external wall cladding (like for like) that does not include structural alterations

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Change of Use

Changing the use of a building from one class to another (i.e. shed to a dwelling)

Yes

Deck

Attached to a building irrespective of size or forming part of a swimming pool surround

Detached timber deck constructed as part of the amenity of a dwelling

Yes

Demolition/Removal

Removal, demolition or CFA burn of a building to remove it from site

Yes

New Building

Construction of Dwelling

Yes

Pergola

Note: A pergola is defined in regulation 5 to mean an open structure that is unroofed but may have a covering of open weave permeable material.

 

Construction of pergola that

  • is not more than 3.6m in height; and
  • if belonging to a Class 1 building, is located no further forward on the allotment than 2.5m forward of the front wall of that building, and
  • in any other case, is located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of that building to which it belongs; and
  • has a floor area not exceeding 20m2

 NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

 

Re-Erection

Re-Erection of an existing dwelling

Yes

Repair/Maintenance

Repair, renewal or maintenance of a part of an existing building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building, and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • is done using materials commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • will not adversely affect an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

 No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Restumping

Re-blocking, restumping or underpinning of an existing building (including partial)

Yes

Retaining Walls

Construction on or near site boundaries where there is a risk of damage to adjoining properties; or

Construction of a retaining wall 1m or more in height

Yes

Roofing

Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with concrete or terracotta roofing tiles; or

Replacement of concrete or terracotta roofing tiles with corrugated iron roofing.; or

Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with another pre-finished metal sheeting which requires the installation of structural battens

Yes

Roofing Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with similar corrugated iron sheeting (colorbond) and no replacement of structural battens No
Verandah Construction of a verandah attached to any building Yes

Windows

Replacement of windows with similar type windows, where not structural alterations are required

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No
Windows  Installation of bay or corner type windows, where structural alterations are required Yes

 

3. Sheds/Garages/Carports (Class 10a)

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Addition/Extension

Additions to a dwelling or any other building

Yes

 Alterations  

Alterations to a building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • will not project beyond the street alignment; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • is not work carried out on, or in connection with, a building included on the Heritage Register within the meaning of the Heritage Act 2017; and
  • is not work in relation to, and will not adversely affect, an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

 No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Construction of Carport

Carport attached to (or physically sited beside) another building

Yes

 Cubby House

Children's timber or plastic cubby or play house if:

  • 10m2 or less in area, and
  • 3m or less in height, and
  • setback 1m or more from the boundary, and
  • located no further forward that the front wall of the dwelling

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No

Demolition/Removal

Demolition/Removal of a freestanding Class 10a building that:

  • is not constructed of masonry, and
  • does not exceed 40m2 in floor area, and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building, and
  • is not work carried out on, or in connection with, a building included on the Heritage Register within the meaning of the Heritage Act 2017

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No

New Building (over 10m2)

 New Shed/Garage/Carport more than 10m2 in area

Yes

New Building (10m2 or under)

New Shed/Garage/Carport if the proposed works are:

  • 10m2 or under, and
  • is no more than 3m in height (or 2.4m if within 1m of boundary), and
  • not built of masonry, and
  • if belonging to a building of another class on the same allotment, is located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of the building to which it belongs, and
  • if it is not belonging to a building of another class on the same allotment, is the only Class 10a building on the allotment and is setback at least 9m from the front street alignment and at least 2m from each side street alignment if on vacant land.

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria  

Note: Report & Consent may be required if the building is proposed to be constructed over an easement

No

 Renewal/Maintenance  

Repair, renewal or maintenance of a part of an existing building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building, and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • is done using materials commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • will not adversely affect an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

 No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation
 NOTE:  A CLASS 10a BUILDING MUST NOT BE CONSTRUCTED ON VACANT LAND WITHOUT CONSENT FROM COUNCIL'S BUILDING DEPARTMENT (Refer to Appendix 23 - Regulation 422 in appendixes)

 

4. Swimming Pools and Spas (Class 10b)

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Above Ground Pool

Construction of a swimming pool or spa greater than 300mm in depth

Yes, must include safety barrier

 Deck Attached to a building irrespective of size or forming part of a swimming pool surround Yes

Inflatable or Temporary Pool

A relocatable swimming pool that is erected temporarily in an area enclosed by an approved safety barrier

No, however Permit for safety barrier required

Inground Pool

Construction of a swimming pool or spa greater than 300mm in depth

Yes, must include safety barrier

Safety Barrier (new)

Safety Barrier constructed around pools or spas that can contain over 300mm in depth of water

Yes

Safety Barrier (alterations)

Alterations to an existing safety barrier

Yes

Spa

Installation of spa

Yes, must include safety barrier

                                         

 

5. Commercial Buildings (Class 5, 6, 7 and 8)

(Class: 5 - Office, 6 - Shop/Restaurant, 7 - Warehouse, 8 - Factory)

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Addition/Extension

Adding additional space to a building

Yes

Alterations

Alterations to a building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • will not project beyond the street alignment; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • is not work carried out on, or in connection with, a building included on the Heritage Register within the meaning of the Heritage Act 2017; and
  • is not work in relation to, and will not adversely affect, an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Change of Use

Changing use of a building from one Class to another (i.e. shop to an office or restaurant, dwelling to a shop or office)

Yes

Demolition/Removal

Removal, demolition or CFA burn of a building to remove it from site

Yes

New Building

Construction of a new commercial premises

Yes

Repair/Renewal

Repair, renewal or maintenance of a part of an existing building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building, and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • is done using materials commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • will not adversely affect an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Sign

More than 1m above ground level and within 3m of a street alignment; or

More than 8m above ground level and more than 6m2 in display area

Yes

Sign (Real Estate) Free standing, self-supporting sign not more than 4.6m2 in area No
Sign (Real Estate) For sale or lease sign located on a shop verandah Yes

 

6. Fences (Class 10b)

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Corner Fence

Construction of a fence over 1m in height and within 9m of a point of intersection of street alignments

Yes

Front Fence (Declared Road)

Construction of front fence on a declared road over 2m in height

Yes, see VicRoads Declared Roads

Front Fence (Light Weight - Picket, Colorbond, Etc.)

Construction of fence over 1.5m in height when within  3m of a street alignment and which is not constructed of masonry, concrete or similar material

Yes

Front Fence (Solid - Brick, Concrete, Etc.)

Construction of fence over 1.2m in height when within 3m of a street alignment and which is constructed of masonry, concrete or similar material

Yes

Side or Rear Boundary Fence (over 2m)

Construction of a side or boundary fence more than 2m high

Yes

 Side or Rear Boundary Fence  Construction of a side or boundary fence 2m high and not within 3m of a street alignment  No

Security Fence

Fence containing barbed wire adjacent to a street alignment

Yes

Tennis Court Fence

Construction of a chain wire tennis court fence

No, if contained within the property boundary

 Fencing-Example-Picture.jpg

7. Other Works

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Bushfire Shelter

Construction of a bushfire shelter

Yes

Deck

Attached to a building irrespective of size or forming part of a swimming pool surround

Detached timber deck constructed as part of the amenity of a dwelling

Yes

 Hail Netting Hail netting that is permeable and used for agricultural purpose supported on posts not greater than 3m in height with tensioned cables fixed to the ground No

Mast/Pole/Antenna (attached to building)

Installation of mast, pole, antenna, aerial, or similar Class 10b structure attached to a building with height exceeding 3m above the highest point of the attachment to the building

Yes

Mast/Pole/Antenna (on ground)

Installation of mast, pole, antenna, aerial, or similar Class 10b structure not attached to a building and with height exceeding 8m above ground level

Yes

Pergola

Note: A pergola is defined in regulation 5 to mean an open structure that is unroofed but may have a covering of open weave permeable material.

Construction of pergola that

  • is not more than 3.6m in height; and
  • if belonging to a Class 1 building, is located no further forward on the allotment than 2.5m forward of the front wall of that building, and
  • in any other case, is located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of that building to which it belongs; and
  • has a floor area not exceeding 20m2

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No

Retaining Wall

Construction on or near site boundaries where there is a risk of damage to adjoining property; or

Construction of a retaining wall 1m or more in height

Yes

Retaining Wall

Construction of a retaining wall less than 1m and:

  • not associated with other building work, or
  • not associated with protection of adjoining property
No

Shade Sail

Installation of shade sail over 20m2 or located within the front setback

Yes

 Shipping Container Installation of shipping container for storage, dwelling, etc. Yes
 Sign  

More than 1m above ground level and within 3m of a street alignment; or

More than 8m above ground level and more than 6m2 in display area

 Yes
Sign (Real Estate)  Free standing, self-supporting sign not more than 4.6m2 in area  No
Sign (Real Estate)   For sale or lease sign located on a shop verandah Yes 

Solid Fuel or Wood Heater

Installation of a wood heater (solid fuel burning appliance)

No, however installation must be undertaken by a licensed plumber

Verandah

Construction of a verandah attached to any building

Yes