There are many terms used to refer to the Building Approval process

Certification, Council Approval, Building Application, Devlopment Approval, Town Planning Approval etc. They all mean the same thing… it is the process of applying for and being granted approval for Building Works to commence!

Below are some frequently asked questions about the Building Approval process

While your project will require a Private Certifier to undertake the Building Approval process, there are a number of things you should try to confirm first, or have your builder confirm. Once you engage a certifier you will be required to pay their fees, even if your project is not approved.

So, it makes sense to find out as much about: the process – your requirements (as the property owener) – the property – the structure you want to build.

Before spending any money!

Here we have listed some of the most common questions and challenges that are faced during the process of obtaining Building Approval. Just remember, every property and project is different…what may appear to have worked for some may not be the case in your circumstances…I recommend that you take the time to find out as much as you can before you start. As Licensed Builders we are legally allowed to arrange Building Applications for you, we can either complete the entire process for you or simply help you through it.

Buyer beware

Only Licensed Builders and Owner Builders (with Permit if Building Works are over $11,000) are allowed to arrange or provide infromation regarding Building Applications – if you rely on unlicensed persons arranging your Building Applications you could be exposed to some significant fines and/or costs to remove non-compliant structures. We have been involved in a number of projects where Owners have learn’t the hard way then engaged us to recover the project – on occassions this has included the sale of noncompliant structures at considerable losses because they could not be constructed legally.

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BUILDING APPROVAL FAQ's

  • How much does Building Approval cost?

    There are several costs associated with residential Building Approval: Private Certifiers fee - for assessment and inspections. Council fee for lodgement of plans / decision notices. Costs to obtain Survey Plans of your property. Cost to obtain QBCC Home Warranty Insurance (if applicable). Relaxation fees - if proposed works are outside standard requirements. Multiple structures at the same time - some additional fees may be required for seperate structures, particularily if they are different classes of buildings. Additional fees for complex applications such as Build Over Sewer etc. Additional fees for other associated Applications - Plumbing, Waste Water, Bushfire etc. A basic Building Application will cost around $1000, other fees may be required if standard requirements are not met. For Commercial Applications - an assessment of proposed works will need to be undertaking before a Quotation can be provided.
  • QBCC Home Warranty Insurance (HWI)

    A Statutory Insurance Scheme administered by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) for the protection of homeowners in the event of unresolved rectification of building works and /or subsidence in relation to building works. The premium is payable by the licensed Contractor/Builder to the QBCC on behalf of the homeowner. These fees are then added to the costs charged to the homeowner. Policy documents are sent to the homeowner directly from QBCC with details of the policy, along with how to make a claim in the unlikely event this is required.
  • When do I need Building Approval?

    Building approval is required for: Any structure greater than 10m2. Any structure attached to an existing dwelling. If any side is greater than 5m. If the mean height is greater than 2.1m above the natural ground.
  • What is Development Approval?

    Development Approval encompasses these main components: Building Classification What type of structure are you building? How is the structure going to be used, for living in/under, storage, some kind of business or manufacturing use? Zoning What are you allowed to use the property for? How large can you make the structure? Is the use of the property going to change as a result of building this structure? Are there areas of the property that are affected by other factors, Infrastructure, Bushfire, Landslide etc.?
  • Development Approval - Building Classification?

    Building Classification. Class 1a – single dwelling (this applies to Patios which are an extension of a single dwelling if used as a living space.) When you build a Patio is is treated as an extension of your dwelling, a living space, and the rules are quite different to that of a carport or shed. Some of the main considerations are: Fire Seperation, boundary setbacks, maximum height, minimum heights,site coverage, stormwater management etc. Please contact us to talk through the constraints on your property. Class 10a – non-habitable building or structure ( Carport or Shed ) There are a number of allowances to setback rules that apply to class 10a structures, depending on what you are trying to do you can sometimes build right up to the boundary, attach to your house, apply for relaxation if you are outside the standard rules. Please contact us to talk through the constraints on your property. Other Classifications we encounter: Class 1b – boarding house, guest house, hostel or the like Class 2 – a building containing 2 or more sole occupancy units each being a single dwelling. Class 7 – Carpark or for storage, display of goods or produce for sale by wholesale Class 8 – Manufacturing or production type activities
  • Development Approval - what is Zoning?

    ZONING Zoning is determined by the Planning Scheme from your local council. The zoning of the property determines what type of building you are allowed to construct. What are you allowed to use the property for? How large can you make the structure? Is the use of the property going to change as a result of building this structure? Where are you allowed to build on the property? OVERLAYS additional overlays incorporate other constraints that may affect your property, such as: Flood Zones Bushfire areas Potential Landslide areas
  • Infrastructure - Zone of Influence?

    The Zone of Influence is the area directly affected by any load that is placed upon it that may impact the infrastructure. Once you identify that your project may affect infrastrcture you will need to obtain detailed information about the infrastructure. This can be requested from the infrastructure owner and will contain: distance the infrastructure is away from your proposed works. depth of each end of the infrastructure length of each section of infrastructure. From this information you can work out the Zone of Influence (ZOI) along the infrastructure. The ZOI can be calculated using the diagram below as a guide. However, there are other requirements that need to be assessed as well. infustructure
  • Development Approval - QLD Development Code (QDC)?

    QLD Development Code – is administered by the QLD Govt. - Department for Housing and Public Works The Queensland Development Code consolidates Queensland-specific building standards into a single document. The code covers Queensland matters outside the scope of, and in addition to, the Building Code of Australia. Particular components of the QDC that generally effect our Steel Structures are: Part 1.0 Siting and Amenity – detached housing and duplexes Mandatory Parts: MP 1.1 - Design and siting standards for single detached housing on lots under 450m2 Defines the standard setbacks from boundaries, site coverage, heights etc. for blocks greater than 450m2 MP 1.2 - Design and siting standards for single detached housing on lots 450m2 and over Defines the standard setbacks from boundaries, site coverage, heights etc. for blocks less than 450m2 MP 1.4 - Building over or near relevant Infrastructure Defines the requirements for building near any infrastructure such as: sewers, power lines, stormwater pipes etc. MP 2.4 – Construction in bushfire prone areas MP 3.7 – Farm buildings Non-mandatory parts: NMP 1.1 – Driveways NMP 1.7 – Retaining walls and excavating and filing NMP 1.8 – Stormwater drainage
  • QDC - Building Over or Near Infrastructure?

    Every house is connected to a sewerage, water supply and stormwater system. Some are installed and owned by the homeowner of the property, generally on lifestyle and rural properties which are already your own responsibility, otherwise they are part of the council managed infrastructure which are owned by various utilities such as Urban Utilities, Unity Water, Power Network companies etc. If you are connected to the council managed infrastructure you need to follow a number of rules when building over or near this infrastructure. First, you need to find out if any infrastructure is near your proposed building works. You can use the website www.1100.com.au for information on obtaining infrastructure locations. If any infrastructure is near (we suggest at least 3 meters) you will need to obtain detailed information about the infrastructure from the infrastructure owner to determine how deep the infrastructure is and if your building works will be within the ZONE OF INFLUENCE.
  • QDC - Bushfire Zone requirements?

    If your property falls within a Bushfire prone area,then you can confirm the area Bushfire level with your council and find out if you are required to obtain a Bushfire Report. Once you have confirmed the Bushfire Level then you you can design your structure to accomodate the requirements of the Australian Standard AS3959 or NASH Standard. Effectively what is required is to reduce the ability for embers to enter the structure.This is done using of the some of the following: Instaling Flashings to the bottom of sheets to prevent entry of embers. Installing Fire Rated Insulation to seal the inside of the shed Install custom designed Seals to the Eaves to prevent entry of embers through both the roof and wall sheet profiles. Install Roller Door brush kits to seal roller doors from ember entry. Install Fire Rated screens to windows and other requirements
  • QDC - Driveway requirements?

    Driveways must be constructed to the requirements contained in the QDC Driveways Standard. There are a number of requirements to the standrad to ensure the safey of residents and visitors along with the longivity of the structure. The Standard includes the following requirements: Maximum Gradients - to ensure ease of access. Widths Loadings - is the structure designed to support the normal traffic and is constructed correctly. Surface water management Driveway Location - If this is a new driveway or a secondary driveway you may need to notifiy council or obtain approval before construction.
  • QDC - Excavation requirements?

    Excavation is a critical component of any new Building Works - both from a structural and safety perspective. If your foundation is not well prepared your structure will not have much chance of being solid & sound for years to come. You excavation must not adversely impact neighbouring properties or stormwater systems. If operating machinery to excavate you need to be aware of what you are digging into and how to safely operate any excavation equipment. The excavation must not adversely impact the visual amenity or privacy of the site or surrounding properties. Must not worsen any flooding or drainage issues. Must not cause stormwater to impact neighbouring properties. Must not impact any Infrastructure. Must not cause adverse loads on existing infrastructure.
  • QDC - Stormwater Drainage requirements?

    Stormwater must be directed away from any foundations and property boundaries. A suitable Stormwater management system must be installed before the Final Inspection can be completed successfully. Options for stromawater are limited to: Connecting to an existing stormwater system; Connecting directly to kerb and Channel using approved construction method. Where existing services are not avaiable the installation of a Rubble Pit may be suitable - at least 3m from boundaries or foundations. In limited situations a method of spreading the stormwater over a large area may be suitable - as long as it does not adversly affect foundations or neighbouring properties. Jquip can arrange a suitable stormwater connection as part of a construction project.