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Planning requirements for home renovations in Queensland

Get planning permission before you start building Get planning permission before you start building

With all of the reality renovation shows on TV, just about everyone wants to make some changes to their home, if not jump right into a full blown renovation. The problem is that there are specific council requirements for building and renovating in Brisbane (which Brisbane builders already know). So if you are an owner builder, then you need to do some serious research and complete the following steps, before any construction work commences.

First of all, if your construction work costs more than $3,300, then you need a number of building certifications and approvals, before you can commence work. So here is a quick guide to what you need to do next (in Brisbane your builder will do all of this for you):

You need architectural plans for your renovations

The council has a list of codes against which they compare your plans. This means that they look at the zoning for your area, the distance between your construction and the boundary of your property, any height restrictions that affect your area and if your construction will affect underground sewerage or stormwater drainage from your property.

Sometimes a site survey is also required or a development application (DA), but you don’t have to worry about these if you have a licenced builder in Brisbane, because they will sort all of this out for you.

You also need structural plans for your renovations

Apart from architectural plans, you also need structural plans to make sure that your work complies with national building standards. So before you can start work, you must obtain a Compliance Certificate for Building Design or Specification (Form 15).
Depending on where you live, you might also need the soil tested to ensure that the footings and slabs are strong enough to support your renovations. Again, a licensed Brisbane builder will organise all of these for you.

Then there is the energy efficiency assessment

Times change and now new builds and structural renovations over $3,300 need an energy efficiency certificate. Essentially, if you are building habitable rooms, you need to meet certain energy efficiency requirements, before an energy efficiency certificate will be issued.

Don’t forget the builders licence and insurance

If you employ a builder for your renovations, then he or she will need a builder’s licence (which they should already have) and they also need to insure the new building through the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
If you are an owner builders don’t need insurance, but if the cost of construction is greater than $11,000 you will need a builder’s licence.

If you are searching for an experienced, licenced builder in Brisbane, call Michael Ross Builders on 041 67 222 90, email us at or complete our online enquiry form.

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