When is a building permit required?
The Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 1994 legislate that building work (as defined) must be subject to the issue of a Building Permit prior to starting work.
The Building Permit has a very practical purpose. It ensures, among other things, that certain practitioners are registered and carry insurance, that adequate documentation is prepared to correctly construct the building, an independent review of that documentation occurs, key stages of the work are independently inspected and the building is independently assessed as completed and/or suitable for occupation.
A building permit provides peace of mind for owner builders and building insurers, and ensures compliance reports are generated. These could be needed if you later choose to sell your property.
When you are considering a building project, it is advisable to contact the Council Building Surveyor and ask about any building permits that may be required. For further information about local requirements, please contact the Building Department on 5355 0200. Council staff will be able to help ascertain whether a building permit will be needed for your project.
Building permit inspections
How do I apply for a Building Permit?
The information required you will need to provide with your application will vary according to the type of building you plan to construct.
The Application for building permit is available at the Ararat Rural City Council municipal offices.
It is in your interests to ensure all building works are inspected at the appropriate stages. Building inspections are mandatory and a certificate must be issued to finalise your permit.
Inspections can be arranged by telephoning Council’s Planning Office (03) 5355 0225 during office hours and providing the following details:
- day of inspection (a minimum 24 hours’ notice is required)
- site address
- contact person's name and phone number
- type of inspection required
- Building Permit number
- If you are building a new home or other building, the following inspections must occur:
- footings – prior to the placement of any footing (ie the concrete pour), the strip footing, raft slab and/or pad footings need to be inspected
- frame – inspection is required on the completion of the frame before any installation of the roof cladding
- final inspection for Certificate of Occupancy Permit
Owner Builder Information
As an owner-builder, you have a number of obligations under the Building Act with which you must comply. Owner-builders need to understand not only the technical aspects of building, but also the administrative, legal, Occupational Health & Safety and taxation requirements associated with building construction.
The Victorian Building Authority provides an overview of these matters, but there are occasions in which you will need to seek more specific advice from Council or other relevant government departments and authorities.