When homeowners decide to embark on a home extension or a renovation project, they are more focused on choosing the right fixtures, type of materials to use on a project, type of finishes suitable and they forget the importance of a renovation permit. This is a terrible mistake that can lead to costly expenses. The building code of Australia clearly indicates that renovation must meet certain basic requirements for health, safety as well as the structural soundness. The process to get the permit ensures that all your renovation plans are in line with all the regulation and requirement.
Fortunately, not all renovations require approval, but those renovations that involve changing the structure or the shape of your home definitely need approval. This means almost all additions, reconfiguration inside the house, installing new windows, and other structures like pergolas or carports must be approved. Small renovations that won’t necessarily require a permit includes putting up cabinets, replacing patios, or replacing small drywalls. It’s not to say all the little renovations doesn’t need a permit, painting the house exterior, replacing a roof sheet are some that require a council permit.
The reason many homeowners do not neglect to apply for renovation permit has to do with the perception the process is proverbial, but it’s not. It might be a little difficult to get one, but you need to take it as an assurance that your building is not only safe but respectful to nature and the community as a whole. Therefore, rather than sidestepping the process, follow the right procedure and the set a good foundation for the future. The application process may vary depending on the type of work and the building certifier, but generally, there is some information you need to provide, for instance, the plans or working drawings. Typically you may need to lodge a DA (development Application) before approval. Keep in mind that if your plan doesn’t conform with the registration, the DA won’t approve, and you won’t be able to renovate until it is.
The law allows you to obtain permit all by yourself, but you can ask for a builder’s, architect, draftsperson’s help since they will be more than willing to source the permits on your behalf. If however you go with the third part, you will be required to have a contract drawn up, clearly stating who will represent you.
If the renovation you are carrying out requires approval, and you have none the building certifier will issue a stop order and give you a grace period for you to get one. The stop order will be valid until you are approved and you have a permit with you. Sometimes you may be required to redo the entire project at your cost and in most case scenario you can be forced to undo the addition for good but of course, this will happen if you fail to comply with council codes. There are cases where you can find yourself fighting a lawsuit, or affecting an insurance claim that arises from renovations.
The process of obtaining a renovation permit may seem cumbersome, but it’s necessary; it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.