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Rocket Building Approvals

Frequently Asked Questions

Our team are experienced professionals, on hand to help with all of your residential building approvals.

What is the Role of a Private Certifier?

Private certifiers inspect and approve building work to ensure it complies with the approved building plans and appropriate building standards including the Planning Act 2017, the Building Code of Australia, Building Act 1975 and specific building legislation.

Building certifiers do not:

– Project manage or supervise trades or builders.
– Ensure a builder is complying with their contract
– Quality Control and disputes.
– Cannot certify or approve work with which they are personally involved as a builder or designer, or from which they are able to gain a profit

When do I need a Building Approval?

A building approval is generally required  when the scope of works are more than the below:

  • A garden shed up to 2.4 metres high (2.1 metres mean height), 10m2, 5.0 metres long and not located in the front or waterfront setback areas,
  • A fence not more than 2.0 metres high.
    • Swimming pool fencing needs approval for new work regardless of the height
    • Waterfront areas and corner lots also have special rules,
  • A one metre high retaining wall (if no loads are imposed above it, such as a building or driveway),
  • Deck up to 1.0 metre high and 10m2 when not located in any required setback area.
  • Roofed patio up to 2.4 metres high (2.1 metres mean height), 10m2, 5.0 metres long when not located in any required setback area.

If you’re not sure if you require a building approval, Send us an email or give us a call.

What can you build without council approval?
Under the Queensland legislation some minor building work is considered accepted development. Some local government planning schemes may require building approval. If the work is accepted development, the owner is responsible for ensuring the work complies with applicable standards, including structural sufficiency, size limits and boundary setbacks.
Can Council make you pull down a structure?
Yes, If you have been issued a show cause notice from Council and after a period of time and you don’t provide a building approval or its unable to obtain a building approval, Council will require the structure to be removed.
What’s the difference between a planning and a building approval?
Planning approval is provided by the local Council for issues such as reduced setbacks to structures and land use changes. Normally a private town planner can prepare and lodge these applications. A building approval is provided by a building certifier and this is the approval required to commence building works on site.
What happens if you start building without a permit?
Starting building works without the relevant approvals is illegal and not advised as normally the repercussions of doing so can severely impact the homeowner not only financially but if the works do not comply with Council requirements the works may have to be removed.
Is it illegal to renovate without a permit?
Depends, some minor works can be undertaken without the need for a building approval, Howeverits advisable to contact us to clarify.
Do you need a permit to remodel a bathroom?
Not always, Give us a call or email for clarification.
Does replacing like for like trigger a Building Approval?
Yes, even replacing a structure like for like will require a new building approval.
Can I convert my garage?
Generally yes, as long as the Council and building code requirements are met, Converting an existing garage to habitable space can be achieved.
How long does a Building Approval take?
Our assessment timeframes are normally 3-5 business days, Once we have reviewed the project a request for information (RFI) will be provided with additional documentation or requirements to be met. Once all the requirements are complete,The building approval will be issued within 1-2 business days.
Do I need Council Approval?
No, Council approval is not always required, Generally we will provide guidance to avoid this if possible.
What is QBCC Insurance and do I need it?
Most residential building work where the contract value is over $3,300 must have QBCC Home Warranty Insurance The Builder pays a premium to the Queensland Building & Construction Commission as part of your contract. A copy of the Notice of cover for this insurance is required to be supplied to us prior to the Building approval being released.

You can find a link to the insurable work table here. (insert link to useful docs page)

What if I want to complete my project as an Owner Builder?
If you are completing building work on your own property you may need an Owner Builder Permit.
The Queensland Building & Construction Commission issue a permit for work over $11,000.00. Which will allow you to take on the role of head contractor on a building project and personally perform the building work yourself. You’ll be responsible for engaging and co-ordinating your contractors, as well as the scheduling of work.

The QBCC notes that you can’t personally carry out work where you need an occupational licence, or for fire protection work over $1,100.

You can find links to the QBCC Owner Builder Permit Application form and a list of Owner Builder course providers here. (insert link to useful docs page)

Rocket accept Owner/Builder application on a case by case basis.

Do I need to fence my outdoor spa?
Yes! Spas are classed the same as swimming pools in The Building Act 1975. Even if your spa has a lockable lid, it still requires a Compliant Barrier.

You can find a link to the Building Act 1975 and the QLD Development Code for Swimming Pool Barriers here. (insert link to useful docs page)

Does my Retaining Wall require Building Approval

A Building Approval is required for a retaining wall if any of the below apply:

  •  There is surcharge loading over the zone of influence for the wall;
  • The total height of the wall and of the fill or cut retained by the retaining wall is more than 1m above the wall’s natural ground surface;
  • The wall is closer than 1.5m to a building or another retaining wall.
  • The wall forms part of the barrer for a pool

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