Home renovations and DIY projects

Home renovations and DIY projects have become increasingly popular in Australia. There is a great sense of achievement that comes from accomplishing that ‘little’ or ‘big’ project around the house.

While television shows like ‘The Block’ and ‘House Rules’ showcase the workmanship that goes into the renovation, there is a great deal of pre-planning and approval required with your local council before you can proceed.

The nature of your project and your property will determine if you will need Council approval. You may need a ‘Complying Development Certificate’ or a ‘Development Application’ (commonly known as a DA).

Regardless of the type of approval you require, you must comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA), standards and satisfy all requirements set out in the appropriate policies.

Did you know you must seek council approval for the following:

  • To dig up and replace an existing drive way. You can change or enhance your driveway as long as you are within your boundary. However, from the boundary to the street, you require approval – it’s not your property.
  • Extension of an existing carport or patio. You can enhance or replace an existing carport or patio as long as it maintains it’s current dimensions. If you are wanting to enlarge the surface area, you may be required to seek approval from council.
  • If you want a pergola or shade structure over 20m2 in size you will need to seek Council approval.
  • If you are in a designated Fire Zone you will need approval for most external works.
  • If you want to remove a large established tree. In most circumstances a permit from Council is required before removing or pruning trees on private property.

by Ruth Newman