The building permit process

Find out why you need a building permit is what it is and when you need to get one.

Why do you need approval?

When you wish to build, you need to ensure that your proposed building is constructed safely and is guided by the following State Government legislation:

  • Building Regulations
  • Building Act
  • National Construction Code and other standards.

It is our role is to ensure your building(s) remains complaint with this legislation.

What is a building permit?

A building permit includes detailed construction drawings and technical documents for proposed building works, practitioner registration and insurance. Your private building surveyor issues you the building permit which they then submit to us for record keeping.

There are times when you will need to present evidence of your building permit, such as when you sell your property. Illegal building works can create significant problems during the sale of a property.

Do you want to be an owner builder?

If the works or a part of the works done cost more than $5000, the person doing the work must be a registered practitioner. Only registered practitioners can get building permits. It is possible to become an owner builder if you meet the right criteria and get the right certifications. Visit the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to learn how to apply to become an owner builder.

    When do you need a permit?

    Before you do anything, any construction work needs a building permit. Start with this basic guide:

    1. Talk to your private building surveyor to check when you need a building permit. We don't issue building permits so your private building surveyor will guide you through the process and fees. There are some exemptions to needing a permit, download:

      Building permits and other exemptions
      Building permits and other exemptions
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    2. Check if you need a planning permit before getting a building permit.

    3. Check if you need other permits approvals from us, for example:

      And remember - do not carry out any works until you've got all your approvals and permits in place.

    What happens if you don't get a building permit?

    You need to have your building permit prior to undertaking building work. If you carry out works without a permit, enforcement action may be taken and significant penalties may apply.

    How much does it cost?

    Fees for the building permit will be charged by your private building surveyor.

    For potential council associated costs, view our full list of fees.

    Popular building guides

    We've prepared a few guides on some of our more popular building works:

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