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How to apply for a building permit

Most building or construction works need a building permit. It's easy to apply for a permit before you begin building.

Never start building without checking if you have the right permits.

Building permits

A building permit is a legal document. It shows a building surveyor has approved all documents for proposed construction work.

Building permits assess and ensure standards for the construction and maintenance of buildings.

The Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2018 require that most building works need a building permit. This includes most:

  • alterations
  • demolitions
  • removals.

Beginning building without a building permit is a serious offence. It can result in severe penalties, such as a $92,460 fine.

When you need a building permit

Generally, you need a permit for most construction and demolition works.

In rare cases, you may not need a building permit. Before you begin:

They can tell you if you need a building permit.

Sometimes the zoning and overlays on your property mean you also need a planning permit. You can confirm this with a Building and Planning Information Request or by contacting Council.

Where do I get a building permit?

You can get a building permit from either:

  • Council, or
  • a private building surveyor who is registered with the Victorian Building Authority.

Types of construction and building work

Building permits may be required for:

  • dwellings and additions
  • unit developments
  • installing or altering windows or changes to load-bearing walls
  • reblocking or restumping an existing building
  • garages, carports and sheds
  • verandahs, pergolas, decks, aerials, etc.
  • demolition or removal of buildings
  • swimming pools and spas
  • fences
  • retaining walls
  • commercial/industrial buildings
  • shop, offices and work area fit-outs
  • signs
  • re-roofing.

To help you prepare your application, see our checklists for specific types of works below.

Apply for a building permit through Council

You must have all building plans and documentation ready before applying.

If your works needs a planning permit, you need to get this first as a building permit will not be issued until the planning permit is approved.

Before applying for a permit, be sure to understand current building fees.

Contact Building Services for any assistance. We're here to help.

Apply for a building permit

Minimum requirements

As a minimum requirement for assessment, you must submit:

Refer to the relevant checklists below for any additional information that may be required.

Submit an application

Building permit applications can be:

Knox City Council Civic Centre

511 Burwood Hwy, Wantirna South, 3152

Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8.30 am to 5 pm.

Receiving your permit

Council issues a permit within 10 working days of all required documents and fees being received.

We also attend a site within 24 hours of booking an inspection.

Further building documents:

The length of a building permit

Building permits last different amounts of time depending on the work being done.

Domestic works

A building permit is valid for 2 years.

You must carry out an inspection within 12 months of the approval date or it will lapse.

Swimming pools and spas

A building permit is valid for 18 months.

You must carry out an inspection within 12 months of the approval date or it will lapse. You must complete the work 6 months after starting.

Commercial works

A building permit is valid for 3 years.

You must carry out an inspection within 12 months of the approval date or it will lapse.

Extension of time

You can apply for an extension of time in special circumstances.

Before the permit lapses, apply in writing to the Building Surveyor who issued it.

This may extend the length of the building permit up to 12 months.

Apply for a building permit extension of time

Help is available

There are a variety of checklists available to help you in the process.

Public Register of Building Permits

The Public Register of Building Permits is a list of all building works in and around Knox. It also covers any building permits issued by private building surveyors within Knox.

Due to privacy reasons, we cannot give out further information over the phone or via email.

View the Public Building Register

Refund requests

You may request a full or partial refund of a planning or building-related fee.

Please note: Council grants refunds at its own discretion.

Request a refund

Need help?

Contact Building Services and we will get back to you.

Or call our Building Services team on 9298 8125.

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