When planning on building a shed, garage or similar construction in Victoria, consumers need to be aware of their planning and building permit requirements.
This is true for a domestic garage, as it is for a hay shed or a horse arena.
Simply being uniformed can lead to a number of pitfalls that could be expensive.
You may choose the hassle-free option of enlisting the services of your builder or a professional permit facilitator to manage the whole process.
However, if you’re looking to save money you need to do your research. We’ve outlined following some key questions and points you need to be familiar with.
Building guidelines have been created by governments to ensure the health, safety and structural integrity of a building.
It’s to ensure that a building is in line with all legislation, considers environmental and planning regulations and builders are registered and offer adequate insurance.
You could receive significant fines.
A building permit is legal permission to carry out building construction of any sort.
It’s a document issued by a building surveyor (either from your local council or a private surveyor) who is qualified to approve your plans and documents.
A planning permit provides permission to develop or use land for a particular purpose.
While a planning permit is not always necessary, each council has its own planning scheme, so requirements vary according to your location. Some councils do stipulate you need a planning permit for even minor changes.
It’s your responsibility to find out whether a permit is required before you develop or change the land.
If a planning permit is required, you need to obtain it before or at the same time, as applying for your building permit.
According to the Practice Note 2016-32 issued January 2016, the Building Act 1993 does exempt freestanding Class 10a buildings – (i.e. shed, carport or garage) – from requiring building permits if:
Once again, we recommend you contact your local council’s Town Planning Department to discuss your requirements
To apply for a building permit, you need to enlist the services of a building surveyor. The building surveyor may either be a private provider or from the council.
Your shed builder can also apply for permits on your behalf, but you must provide written authorisation to do so.
Costs for building permits varying amongst councils. There is a building permit levy that is forwarded to the Victorian Building Authority.
You will need to complete the application process/form specified by your local councils. Generally, you will also need to submit at least 3 copies of drawings, specifications and allotment plans.
You can either register as an owner-builder or hire a builder to construct your shed.
When hiring a builder, if the building work (including supply and installation) costs more than $10,000 you’re required to use a registered builder. You will also need to enter into a major domestic building contract with the registered practitioner.
Also, if the cost of the work exceeds $16,000 (this includes labour and materials) your builder is required to provide domestic building insurance.
If you’re an owner builder you must adhere to obligations under the Building Act 1993 and Building Interim Regulations 2017. This relates particularly when selling your property.
The Victoria Building Authority states:
Again, if the cost of the work exceeds $16,000 the owner-builder is also required to provide domestic building insurance.
Yes. Regardless of scale of work, you’ll need to enlist the services of a licensed or registered plumber.
The plumber will need to carry out the installation of roof sheeting, flashings, guttering, downpipes or other regulated plumbing work on a shed.
A compliance certificate is also required from a licensed plumbing practitioner if the cost of the plumbing work exceeds $750.
Your building permit will specify the required commencement and completion dates for your shed.
For instance, building works relating to outbuildings may be required to commence within 12 months of issue of the building permit and be completed within 24 months.
Note: If a building permit lapses prior to work being complete, the work is then considered legal. The building surveyor will issue a stop works order.
So, be sure to make a note of all dates once you’ve obtained your building permit.
You will need to apply to the relevant building surveyor for an extension of the building permit prior to the permit lapsing.
If you do not apply to this deadline, you will need to apply for another building permit.
You may need a certificate of final inspection. This’ll be indicated on your building inspection.
If you’re managing the process, we highly recommend you first contact your local council’s town permit department to determine your exact requirements
If you prefer the hassle free option, engage the services of your builder or a permit facilitator to manage the process.
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