If you are planning a home renovation or home extension one of the many things to consider before starting your building is whether your job requires a building permit or a planning permit (or both).

The Building Act 1993 (the Act) and Building Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) legislate that all building work is subject to the issuing of a building permit, unless an exemption exists for the proposed work under the Regulations. This includes some minor alterations, demolitions and repair or maintenance work.

A planning permit is an application for permission to develop or use land for a particular purpose.

A building permit is a document that certifies that the Relevant Building Surveyor has approved the relevant plans and documentation before your project begins.

Occupancy permits are documents that signify that a building surveyor is satisfied that the completed building work is compliant, that all required documentation has been submitted, and has approved your building as being suitable for occupation.

Difference between building permits and planning permits

Building permits relate specifically to the carrying out of building construction. However, there are times when a planning permit may also be required. Planning permits are legal documents giving permission for a land use or development, and may be required by your local council. If a planning permit is required, it must be obtained before a building permit can be issued, however, both applications can be made at the same time. A planning permit does not remove the need to obtain a building permit. The best way to find out whether you need a planning permit is to contact your local council’s Town Planning Office.

A building permit will specify that either an occupancy permit is required or a certificate of final inspection is required on completion of the building work.

If you are unsure please consult your municipal or private building surveyor whether your proposed building work requires a building permit. As trusted home renovation and extension builders, Duncan Thompson Extensions can provide you with access to building surveyors, who are experienced in working with home extensions and home renovations. It is important to know what permits and other paperwork may be necessary for your building work and the order in which you may require them. These documents, which are prescribed by Victorian building legislation, are designed to protect you.

How do I apply for a building permit?

At Duncan Thompson Extensions we support you through the permit and planning process and as your builder, we will apply on your behalf, for your permits, once you have authorised us in writing to make the application. The VBA website is helpful and gives more in depth information about these issues. Visit Consumer Affairs Victoria’s website for a plans and permits checklist.