Do You Need A Permit For Your Home Extension Or Renovation?

Thinking about finally remodelling the kitchen or adding that extra bedroom for the new baby on the way? Have you thought about whether you need a building permit or not? Here is a useful guide on when you need one and when you don’t.

First, let’s think about what a building permit is. This permit is to ensure that all safety, health and structural standards are met and that the construction is done in a safe environment.

Building permits are issued by Private or Council building surveyors, who inspect the plans submitted and check that they meet the regulations set out in the National Construction Code (NCC). Building permits should not be confused with planning permits, which are required if the subject property has certain constraints (such as a heritage building overlay)

When do you need a building permit? You need one when you are changing the structure or shape of your home or when you are making the following alterations:

  • Adding to an existing building
  • Structurally changing the building
  • Removing or altering a load-bearing section of the building
  • Constructing a garage or carport
  • Any size deck, even if it forms part of a swimming area
  • Erecting a fence higher than 2m
  • Any masts or satellites that are more than 3m above the highest point of the building
  • Re-blocking, re-stumping or underpinning the building
  • Retaining wall construction that might damage the adjoining property
  • Replacing a corrugated iron roofing with concrete or terracotta (and vice versa)
  • Erecting a shed that is more than 10m²
  • Building a swimming pool that is more than 300mm deep
  • A verandah that is attaching to any part of the building
  • Installing a bay or corner type window that will require structurally changing the wall to make it fit

You don’t need a permit when you are making minor internal changes or small external alterations such as:

  • Pergolas in some circumstance
  • Repairing or maintaining a part of the existing structure
  • Demolishing a freestanding garage or carport less than 40m² and not made of masonry
  • Remodelling your bathroom or kitchen that does not alter the structure
  • A fence that is 2m high and not within 3m of a street alignment
  • Building a brick fence that is not more than 1.2m high and not within 9m of a point of intersecting street
  • Building a timber fence that is not more than 1.5m high and not within 9m of a point of intersecting street
  • Erecting a chain wire tennis court fence
  • Putting up hail netting no more than 3m high
  • Replacing corrugated iron roofing with similar corrugated iron sheeting
  • Putting in a freestanding shed that’s smaller than 10m²
  • A freestanding and moveable pool that is just up temporarily
  • Replacing windows that won’t change the structure of the house
  • Installing a wood heater

You should always check with a building professional before doing works on your home to see if a permit is required. If you are still not sure whether what you plan on doing to your home needs a permit or not, be sure to contact us for clarification. You can also refer to the VBA website

Related Tag: Home Extensions Melbourne