1. What is a Building Permit?

Building work such as a demolition, a renovation or an addition requires a permit issued by the permit authority (typically your local council). Building without a permit can result in extra costs and take you through a Certificate of Building Compliance (⇒ CLICK HERE ⇐ if you would like to know more about the Certificate of Design Compliance). A building permit is a written go ahead to allow building work to start. It specifies that your development complies with safety regulations based on the Building Code of Australia.

  1. How much will it cost me?

The cost of your building permit depends on a few elements. First of all, it depends on the nature of your project: the size, the scale but also the complexity.

  1. Can I get someone to lodge on my behalf?

You can definitely nominate someone such as your builder, building surveyor or building designer to submit the documents on your behalf. This service may be charged although it’s worth paying extra money to have a professional handling the submission and dealing with the council to make sure the process runs smoothly. However, keep in mind that you are the home owner and you are responsible to ensure the building permit is obtained prior to commencing work.

  1. What are the steps if I want to submit myself?

Here are the general items to help you to get started. You can refer to our article “Development application (DA): steps to follow” where the process is quite similar.

  1. Having the consent of your neighbours up front helps.
  2. Check your council’s requirements and fees
  3. Draw up the set plans required or get a builder, building surveyor or building designer to draw it up for you. Ensure they comply with the Residential Design Codes (Read also Understand the R-Codes for more information) and the local regulations.
  4. Lodge your application. Once the application is approved you will then be issued a Building Permit which allows you to start the building work!

For more details, you can refer to our article Development application (DA): steps to follow as the procedure is similar.

Why do I need a private building surveyor?

Previously, Building Surveyors employed by the local governments were the only ones who were able to assess your plans. The state government identified this as a bottle-neck in the system and eventually implemented what other states around Australia use; a private building surveyor. Since the 2nd of April 2012 a Building Surveyor in Perth has had the ability to now work in a private company and issue certificates for both new and existing builds known as a CDC (Certificate of Design Compliance) and a CBC (Certificate of Building Compliance) throughout Western Australia. These certificates show compliance with the Building Code Australia and are what the councils require to issue a certified building permit or a Building Approval Certificate (BAC).

People are now able to have an independent registered Building Surveyor Practitioner assess the plans and prepare the CDC. Once the CDC is issued by a private Building Surveyor you can then take that to the Council and make an application for a Certified Building Permit. The Council then have 10 working days to issue the permit, or they must refund your money. This is a lot quicker considering that previously they had an unlimited amount of time to put you through the wringers.

⇒ CLICK HERE ⇐ to contact our building surveyor for any further inquiries. However, before you start any process find out if you need a development application (read also Development Application and Building Permit, what are the differences?).