Are you tired of the old look of your home and ready to consult a builder for renovations?

Easy there, because the excitement of a renovated home may lead you to overlook a few essential things. Before calling your building, ensure having the building permit ready to sail through the construction smoothly.

Not sure how to go about that? We’ve got you covered with our guide on the topic.

What Permits Do I Need For A Renovation In Sydney?

A building permit is a basic requirement for building or renovating a residence in NSW worth $5,000 or more. So, if you want to refurbish a laundry, bathroom, or kitchen area structurally, you’ll have to get a licence in place. 

Sketches And Permits For Home Renovation Project

When Do You Need A Building Permit?

Minor renovations like changing the paint, floorboards, woodwork, etc., don’t need a permit and can be carried out hassle-free. Still, we recommend checking with your local council to be on the safer side. It’s better than getting fined and having a bad track record.

Note that a building permit is necessary for work affecting the building's external or internal structural integrity. Hence, you won’t be able to renovate roofs, foundations, beams, and columns without it.

The need for a building permit also depends on the nature of your project. For instance, if your development falls under the following categories, a couple of rules will be different for you:

  • Classified on the heritage register of the state
  • Lies in a conservation area
  • Present around a contaminated or toxic land
  • In a bushfire or flood-prone area

What’s The Cost Of A Building Permit?

Before applying for a building permit, it’s better to know the cost of the whole procedure. It depends on the type of your renovation and the total cost, including building materials and labour.

You can submit the permit application to the local council or a private surveyor. Every council has its own charges and regulations, so go through their fee schedules.

The most common fees that you’ll be expected to pay are:

  • Your DA or building fee, depending on the nature and size of your project
  • Council payment, charged while lodging the application
  • Long Service Levy - government tax charged if your project exceeds $25,000
  • Owner-builder permit fee, in case you’ll be supervising the work

However, the fee can be reduced or completely waived for you under the following circumstances:

1. Hardship

You can get a waiver if there’s evidence that you’ll face unreasonable inconvenience by paying the permit fee. 

2. Not For Profit

This criterion is applicable if you belong to a charitable organisation holding a non-profit status. It can also be claimed if the renovation enables the betterment of the NSW community.

3. Commercial

Lastly, if the contractor offers some services and needs help to survive on the market, then the permit charges are reduced.

How To Get A Building Permit?

Whether you need to renovate the plumbing, electrical, or structural components of the property, you’ll have to start by applying for a permit. But before that, you’ll need to get all the documents in place, including the following:

  • The development application form
  • A statement of the environmental impact
  • Detailed outline of the renovation, including the sketches and floorplans
  • Approximate cost of the renovation, preferably summarised by an architect or a builder
  • The owner’s consent

Man Sweeping Up Mess From House Renovation

Once you’ve filled out all the necessary forms, you can submit your development permit for approval. They may then appoint a certifier to ensure the work meets the state's standards.

According to the nature of the project, you might need to send the application to your local authority. They’ll decide if your renovation proposal complies with all the rules and regulations of the area and is appropriate for the land.

If all this seems too overwhelming, then you can take some assistance from your builder, surveyor, or building certifier. Even architects and draftspersons have a fair knowledge of this matter, and they can guide you through the process.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Building Permit?

After sending the application, you’ll be able to track it online. Usually, it takes anywhere between 30 and 100 days to get the permit, but it largely depends on the complexity of your renovation and local council. 

House Renovation Requiring A Permit In Nsw

Can The Building Permit Be Suspended?

Simply put, the jurisdiction authorities can revoke or suspend a building permit due to the following reasons:

  • The permit was issued by mistake
  • Incomplete or incorrect information in the development approval
  • Violation of the Energy Code, Uniform Code, or any such law

Still, you should not worry if you play by the rules and mention only the correct things in the application. Your permit will easily be approved without any hiccups and won’t be revoked. 

What Is Exempt Development?

The minor renovations or building work that doesn’t need a building permit is exempt development. These renovations are low impact and can be commercial, residential, or industrial a few examples are:

  • Garden sheds
  • Fences
  • Decks
  • Window repairs
  • Painting the house
  • Carports

Getting Approval For Your Renovation In Sydney

We’ve reached the end of our guide, and we sincerely hope that it answers all your queries. Getting a renovation permit can be daunting, so we advise consulting with your contractor or architect before going forward.

At Final Touch Sydney, we are an Australian owned building, carpentry and construction company. We specialise in a variety of construction projects, including both commercial and residential. For further assistance regarding building permits in NSW, or if you would like to speak to one of our experienced staff members about your renovations, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Until next time, take care!

It’s a Match

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