Do I Need A Building Approval For My Renovation?
Undertaking a renovation is a big project. In almost every state of Australia, conducting a renovation project comes with many requirements.
In Queensland, the majority of renovation projects require building approval from the local council. Without building approval, you can be penalised for illegal property construction.
Fortunately, not every type of renovation requires building approval, especially if the work is extremely minor.
Here is everything you need to know about building approvals.
Why do I need building approval?
Before anything else, it’s important to understand why you need a building permit.
Property renovations must meet basic structural soundness, health, and safety requirements as instructed by the Building Code of Australia (BCA), as well as the building and plumbing guidelines of Queensland.
A building approval will ensure that you comply with these codes and regulations. It will also make sure that your home or building has the following:
- Sound and safe design/construction
- The right degree of fire safety
- Enough protection from pests
- Correct drainage and sewerage
- Standard energy and water efficiency
What will happen if I don’t secure a building approval?
A building approval also called a building permit which must be acquired before starting any property renovations, if not, you could get slapped with fines of up to $44,000! Aside from going through the local council yourself, your building approval can also be acquired by a private building certifier.
As indicated in the Building Industry Fairness Act 2017 (BF Act), unlicensed renovations will also merit stop-work or enforcement notices, court orders and possibly criminal charges. You may also have to redo your renovation at your own cost if your work is non-compliant to BCA standards.
If you plan to sell the property in the future, getting caught with unlicensed building work will do more harm than good and may void your home’s insurance policy.
Which kinds of renovations need building approval?
A building permit is usually required for most renovations, especially those that will change the shape and structure of the property. If you are moving a wall or removing it entirely, you will need building approval. Are you planning on:
- Installing a gazebo or pergola?
- Building a new carport?
- Adding a new door or window?
All of these would qualify for a building permit.
If your renovation project entails any restructuring of the plumbing and/or electrical systems, then you need separate approvals for those as well.
What kind of work doesn’t require a permit or building approval?
Minor changes to the property like painting and repair of existing doors and windows are examples of minor things that do not require building approval.
A few other things that do not require building approval include:
- Repair/installation of cabinets, cupboards, the lining of walls & ceilings.
- The construction of small tool sheds.
- Construction of fences under two metres.
As long as your home renovation does not involve alterations to the structure of the property or changes to the electrical or plumbing systems, then you can probably go on with the project.
Does the council need to get involved?
No, you can get building approval from a private building certifier if you prefer. As long as you comply with the BCA standards and Queensland regulations, the council doesn’t need to get involved.
What are the requirements?
Building approval requirements depend on the building certifier or your local council, plus the type of renovation you are undertaking. A scale floor plan is sufficient for most simple interior projects. On the other hand, a site survey and a full set of drawings may be required if your renovation project involves major structural renovations.
Some renovation plans will require additional information aside from these requirements and it is best to ask your local council or building certifier for the exact requirements of your property renovation.
Can Renovare help with this?
Yes, we can! It’s part of our 3-step process.
After creating a custom-designed concept for your home renovation, we will work with you to finalise the requirements to satisfy the Certifier or the local council.
We will ensure all approvals are in place and these include the building, plumbing, electrical, and planning approvals.
With Renovare, you’ll have complete confidence that your property renovation is fully compliant with all applicable building standards and regulations.
Contact Renovare today
We’ll assist you from planning to approval and provide a smooth renovation process. Call us on 1300 049 516 or contact us if you are ready to start renovating your home.