As a property owner, it is your responsibility to ensure the correct approvals are in place for all building and plumbing work before any building or plumbing work begins.
All assessable building and plumbing work must adhere to the following Acts:
A building permit is required before carrying out most types of building work.
All building work for a Class 1 building requires a building approval.
Some types of Class 10 building work may not require a building permit, however, the work must comply with the Building Regulation 2021 Schedule 2 Accepted development requirements, and it is recommended that you contact us to discuss your proposal and whether a building permit will be required.
All certifiers must be accredited through the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). Certifiers are bound by a strict code of conduct and have an obligation to always act in the public interest.
Building certifiers provide advice on building work and whether the work requires a building approval.
Building certifiers can issue building approvals. As a part of this approval process, the certifier inspects buildings and structures during construction and at completion. This ensures the approved building plans and appropriate building standards have been met.
A certifier can:
- access and approve plans relating to new or altered buildings
- inspection construction work at mandatory stages
- provide certificates of inspection to the builder following inspections
- issue enforcement notices on building work, when necessary
- give final inspection certification for a building.
Certifiers are responsible for all building certifying functions associated with the construction of buildings and structures up to the point that they give final inspection certification for a building.
While a certifier can provide general advice about compliance of building work with the legislation, they are not permitted to design the building or carry out any of the work.
You should seek specialist advice on building applications from the appropriate design professionals.
A certifier can only issue approval for building works.
Approvals in relation to plumbing, planning, sittings, bonds and development can be issued by the regulatory sections of council or state authorities and referral agencies.
However, a certifier cannot issue a building approval until the all other necessary approvals have been given.
Obtaining building approval begins with preparing plans and details, such as:
- how the home will be built;
- technical details of construction;
- who will be constructing to the building; and
- how Building Code of Australia (BCA) requirements will be met.
Carrying out building work means:
- new building work;
- underpinning (whether by vertical or lateral support);
- moving or demolishing a building;
- excavating or filling (relating to the construction of a building).
It is the shared responsibility of a building contractor and the owner to ensure building work is carried out to an acceptable standard of quality and finish.
The building contractor has statutory and contractual obligations regarding the approval and inspection process. The property owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring a building permit has been obtained and any mandatory inspections have been carried out.
Some builders offer a complete design, approval and construction package. If the builder is to arrange for the building permit and inspections, details of the agreement should be recorded in a contract.
The builder must, on behalf of the owner, comply with any lawful requirement relating to the building work. Under the building contract, the builder must rectify any building work that does not comply with the building legislation.
If building work needs to be rectified, the party responsible for the cost will be determined by the reason for the mistake. More than one party may be responsible for costs.
Dispute resolution facilities are available through https://www.qcat.qld.gov.au/matter-types/building-disputes/application-process .
It is an owner's responsibility to ensure their building structures comply with appropriate legislation and standards.
At times, we become aware of building structures (including fences and retaining walls) that do not meet the required standard. We have usually received this information in one of three ways:
- a customer has submitted a customer request to have the matter investigated;
- the problem was discovered during a property search;
- a council officer noticed the problem while performing other duties.
We may issue you with:
- a show cause notice by which you are given an opportunity to explain why you are non-compliant.
- an enforcement notice by which you are ordered to remedy the issue in a certain way and in a certain timeframe.
Mandatory inspections must be carried out on all approved building permits. The builder must notify the building certifier (in writing or otherwise) when building work is ready for inspection.
The inspection will ensure that the building work is being carried out in accordance with the building permit and relevant building standards. Building inspections for the construction of a house must be performed at the following stages:
- Footing - inspection of the foundation material and the reinforcing steel before concrete is placed
- Slab - a check on the bearing capacity of the soil, and inspection of the moisture-proof barrier and the reinforcing steel before concrete is placed
- Frame - inspection of the frame including timber sizes, fixing, tie-down and bracing before the cladding or wall linings are fixed
- Final - check on any previous outstanding items and the collection of certificates such as termite protection, wet area membrane installation, glazing, and certification of engineer designed elements such as roof trusses.
Inspections may be requested by phoning the Building section on 5481 0490. Please allow a minimum of 24 hours notice for all inspections booked via phone. Inspections can also be requested via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, however these requests will require additional advance notice. Note that inspection time may vary due to constraints and occasional delays.
If you are thinking about doing some building work on your own property and you would like to do it yourself, you may need an owner builder permit.
The requirements for owner builders are regulated by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
For more information, please contact the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).