• Geelong /
  • When a Building Permit is Required

When a Building Permit is Required

A summary of building works that require a building permit.

A Building Permit must be granted prior to the commencement of any building works unless the work is exempt under Part 18 and Schedule 8 of the Building Regulations 2006.

To confirm if the building works you propose to carry out require a building permit, you should provide a detailed floor plan, site plan, and copy of title to our Building Services Department located at 100 Brougham Street Geelong during business hours for assessment and advice.

When a Building Permit is required, it must be obtained prior to commencing any building works.
[Back to Top]

Exemptions

Exemptions from building permit requirements as outlined in Part 18 and Schedule 8 of the Building Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) include:

Pergolas(unroofed post and beam structures associated with houses)

Providing the pergola:
  • has a floor area not exceeding 20m2; and
  • is not more than 3.6 m in height; and
  • is located no further forward on the allotment than 2.5m from the front wall of the building to which it is appurtenant.

[Back to Top]

Construction of a private garage, carport, shed (including free standing verandah)

Or the like, providing it:
  • has a floor area not exceeding 10m2; and
  • is not more than 3m in height or if within 1m of a boundary not more than 2.4m high.
  • is appurtenant to a building of another class on the same allotment; and
  • is located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of the building to which it is appurtenant; and
  • is not constructed of masonry.

Note - Consent of a relevant service authority may be required if the private garage, carport, shed, or the like is to be constructed over an easement.

[Back to Top]

Repair, renewal or maintenance of a part of an existing building (such as replacing rotted weatherboards)


Providing 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
    • the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; or
    • underpinning or replacement of footings; and
  • is done for maintenance or renewal purposes using materials commonly used for the same purposes the material being replaced; 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 on the heritage register; and
  • will not adversely affect a safety measure.
  • is not to a building or in connection with a building on the Heritage Register.

[Back to Top]

Shade sails

  • if waterproof, see verandahs.
  • if non-waterproof, see pergolas, above.

The monetary value of building works does not preclude the requirement to obtain a building permit.


[Back to Top]

Limiting Conditions

The exemptions include limiting conditions that the 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 conditions include the construction process and the completed building, and must be applied to both situations. For example, even if the finished building will comply and be structurally sound, if at any stage of the proposed construction there will be an adverse affect, then the exemption does not apply.

This generally means that any structural work to an existing building regardless of cost will require a building permit.



[Back to Top]

Case Studies

The following case studies describe examples of typical work and whether they are subject to a building permit or any technical provisions.

Case Study 1
Construction of a pergola (unroofed post and beam structure) with a footprint area of 25m2 - Building permit required, as the pergola has a footprint area of more than 20m2.

 

Case Study 2
Construction of a freestanding garden shed - Building Permit not required providing that:
  • the floor area is not more than 10m2; and
  • the height is not more than 3m; or 2.4m if within 1.0m of a boundary.
  • it is not constructed of masonry; and
  • it is appurtenant to a building of another class on the same allotment; and
  • it is located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of the building to which it is appurtenant.
Note – Consent of a relevant service authority may be required if the shed is to be constructed over an easement.

 

Case Study 3

Carport attached to another building - Requires a Building Permit as the carport is connected to another building and is an increase in the floor area.

Note – Exemptions only apply to some freestanding structures (as outlined above in Case Study 2).

 

Case Study 4

Replacement of a kitchen that does not involve any structural work - Building permit not required, as there would generally not be any adverse affect at any stage. (Unless the building is on the Heritage Register).

 

Case Study 5
Reblocking (restumping) of an existing building - Requires a building permit as it involves the removal and replacement of an element that is contributing to the support of another element.

 

Case Study 6

Replace of existing windows with larger windows, corner windows, bay windows or the like - Requires a building permit as it adversely affects the structural soundness of a building by removing an element that contributes to the support of another element

 

Case Study 7

Construction of a Deck, Patio, Landing or the like - Requires a building permit as exemptions do not apply to decks; landings, balconies and the like.



[Back to Top]

Common types of building works

Common Types of Building Work Building Permit Required * Must still comply with (see notes)
Additions 
Additions to a dwelling or any other building
Yes  4
Alterations
Structural alterations to a dwelling or any other building
Yes
Removal of or alteration to a load-bearing part of a building
Yes
Carports, Garages and Sheds

Erection of a freestanding carport, garage or shed that:

  • has a floor area not exceeding 10 m2; and
  • is no more than 3m in height; or 2.4m if within 1.0m of a
    boundary
  • is appurtenant to a building of another class: and
  • is located no further forward than the front wall of the
    appurtenant building; and
  • is not constructed of masonry
No
Nil
Erection of a carport, garage or shed attached to another building
Yes
4 and 5
Erection of a carport, garage or shed that has a floor area more than 10 m2
Yes
3 and 4
Demolition
Demolition of any building /structure (except some freestanding
outbuildings)
Yes
Fences

Construction of a:

   
  • side or boundary fence not exceeding 2m in height
No
Nil
  • brick front fence exceeding 1.2m in height
Yes
4 and 5
  • timber front fence not exceeding 1.5m in height
No
Nil
  • side or boundary fence exceeding 2m in height
Yes
4 and 5
  • fence exceeding 1.0m in height, within 9m of the point of
    intersection of street alignments.
Yes
4 and 5
Construction of a chain wire tennis court fence
No
Nil
Masts / Antennas
Height more than:
3m above the highest point of a building that it is attached to
Yes
4 and 5
8m above the ground
Yes
4 and 5
Pergolas
Construction of a pergola (unroofed) appurtenant with a house or garage, not exceeding 20m2 or 3.6m in height and located no further forward on the allotment than 2.5m from the front wall of the appurtenant building.
No
Construction of a pergola (unroofed) associated with any other building.
Yes
Reblocking
Reblocking or restumping of an existing building
Yes
Retaining Walls
Construction of a retaining wall 1 m or more in height
Yes
Construction on or near site boundaries (any height)
Yes
Roofing
Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with concrete or terracotta roofing tiles.
Yes
Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with ‘Colorbond’ or other pre-finished sheeting.
No
Nil
Signs
More than 1 m in height and within 3 m of the street alignment.
Yes
More than 8 m above ground level and 6 m2 in display area
Yes
Swimming Pools/Spas
Construction of a swimming pool/spa with a depth greater than 300 mm (except some relocatable pools)
Yes
Erection/alteration of swimming pool/spa safety barriers (where pool/spa has a depth greater than 300mm).
Yes
Verandahs
Construction of a verandah attached to any building
Yes
Windows
Replacement of windows with similar type windows which do not affect ventilation requirements, and where no structural alterations are required
No
Installation of ‘bay’ or ‘corner’ type windows, where structural alterations are required.
Yes
Wood Heater
Installation of a wood heater (solid fuel burning appliance).
No
1and 7
* A Planning Permit or approval may be required, regardless of whether a building permit is required.


[Back to Top]

Notes

Note 1
Building Code of Australia (includes structural safety, fire rating, health and amenity
requirements, as applicable).

 

Note 2
Part 4 – Siting Building Regulations 2006 (includes siting requirements, wall height restrictions,
setbacks, etc., as applicable).

 

Note 3

Cannot be built on vacant allotment without Council Report and Consent (Regulation 422).

 

Note 4

All provisions of the Act and Regulations, including those above. The process of issuing a
Building Permit determines this.

 

Note 5
Council or other relevant Reporting Authority consent may be required as part of a Building
Permit.

 

Note 6

Glass must be suitable for the particular use.

 

Note 7

Compliance certificate required under plumbing legislation.


[Back to Top]

Common Questions

Click on the question to view the answer
View Question
Building Permit - Do I need one for a swimming pool or spa?
A building permit is required to construct a pool or spa when the depth exceeds 300mm.

A building permit is required for the construction or alteration of all pool safety barriers.

View this question in full


View Question
Pool Fencing - What are the requirements?
All pools and spas, regardless of when installed or constructed, require safety barriers.

Portable or inflatable pools/spas also must have safety fencing.

You will need a building permit if you are planning to build a pool safety barrier or alter an existing one.


View this question in full



Documentation

Download further information

File will open in new window When a Building Permit is Required 2014 (WORD - 127 KB) ReadSpeaker Listen



Feedback
I want to:  
 
 
   
(Optional)

Phone/Visit: Customer Service contacts and locations