Skip to main content
When you need a building permit

When you need a building permit

If you plan to do some building work around the house, you should check with us to find out whether you need a building permit.

If you do need a building permit, see Building permit application process.

Some builders and handymen advise homeowners that if the cost of building work is less than $5000 then no building permit is required - this is incorrect.

The following table lists common types of building work and whether they require a building permit before the work commences:

Common types of building work Permit required
Additions
Additions to a dwelling or any other building Yes
Alterations
Structural alterations to a dwelling or any other building Yes
Removal of, or alteration to, a load-bearing part of a building Yes
Alteration to a building that involves work to an essential safety measure within the meaning of the Act and Regulations. This includes exit and emergency lighting, hose reels and sprinklers. Yes
Carports/garages/sheds
Freestanding, floor area not to exceed 10m2, no more than 3m in height (if 1m off the boundary), or 2.4m in height (if within 1m of the boundary). Not constructed of brick, and located no further forward on the allotment than the associated building. (Note: the consent of a service authority may be required to construct a building of this nature over an easement). No
Attached to another building Yes
Setback less than the associated building Yes
Erection of a shed more than 10m2 in area Yes
Demolition/removal
Demolition or removal of part or all of a building Yes - see Before you demolish or remove a building
Demolition of a freestanding class 10 building that is not constructed of masonry, does not exceed 40m2 in floor area, and will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building, is not work carried out on or in connection with a building included on the Heritage Register within the meaning of the Heritage Act 1995 No
Easements
If you intend to build over an easement, you must first obtain consent from any service authorities who have rights to your easement and then obtain a building permit for the project. Yes - see Building over easements
Fences/privacy screens
Construction of a side or rear boundary fence 2m or less in height No
Construction of a brick front fence less than 1.2m high No (but you will need a permit if the fence is within 9m of the point of intersection of street alignment)
Construction of a timber/colorbond front fence less than 1.5m high No (but you will need a permit if the fence is within 9m of the point of intersection of street alignment)
Construction of a side or rear boundary fence more than 2m high Yes - see Fences
Construction of a fence/screen that is more than 1m in height, within 9m of the point of intersection of street alignment Yes - see Fences
Construction of a chain-wire tennis court fence No
Masts/antennas
Height more than 3m above the highest point of a building (if attached to a building) Yes
Exceeding 8m above ground level (not attached to a building) Yes
Pergolas (unroofed structure)
Construction of a pergola (unroofed) associated with a house, not exceeding 20m2 in area, not more than 3.6m high, and located no further forward on the allotment than the associated building No
Construction of a pergola (unroofed) associated with any other building Yes
Retaining walls
Constructed on or near site boundaries (any height) in order to maintain the stability of the adjoining property Yes
Construction of a retaining wall 1m or more in height Yes
Re-blocking/underpinning or replacement of footings
Re-blocking, underpinning or re-stumping of an existing building Yes
Roofing
Replacing of corrugated iron roofing with concrete or terracotta roofing tiles Yes
Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with 'Colorbond' or other pre-finished sheeting No
Signs
Less than 1m above ground level within 3m of the street alignment No
More than 8m above ground level, and more than 6m2 in display area, and greater than 3m from the street allotment boundary Yes
Swimming pools/spas
Construction and/or installation of a swimming pool/spa pool that is capable of containing water more than 300mm deep Yes - see Swimming pool fencing and safety barriers
Verandas/decks/decking
Construction of a veranda Yes
Construction of decks or decking Yes
Windows
Replacement of windows with similar type windows, where no structural alterations are required No
Installation of "bay" or "corner" type windows where structural alterations are required Yes
Wood heater
Installation of a wood heater (solid fuel burning appliance) No