Do You Need a Renovation Permit in NSW?

Renovating your home can be exciting, as it allows you to reinvent your space. But the process can be overwhelming, especially when determining whether you need to secure a permit. Knowing if your planned renovation requires a permit, what kind of permit you will need, and how to secure one can be a headache for many homeowners in NSW. 


But you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Here is the guide about securing renovation permits in NSW.


When Do You Need a Renovation Permit in NSW?


A building permit is a requirement for any construction or renovation work worth $5,000 or more in NSW. However, some renovations, such as painting a wall or replacing cabinet doors, may not require a permit. 


Renovation projects that commonly require council approval in NSW include those that require structural changes and significant extensions and excavations. It includes demolishing walls or adding a new room.


How to Determine if Your Renovation Requires a Permit in NSW


It is best to refer to the NSW Government Website for more details on which kind of renovation requires a permit. If it falls under the Exempt Development, you won’t need a planning or construction permit to carry out your project as long as you adhere to specific measurements, standards, or requirements.


For example, in NSW, installing some fences is commonly included in Exempt Development. But according to the NSW Government website, it should comply to the following requirements:

  • Gates must not be open outwards
  • On bushfire prone land, fences must be constructed of non-combustible materials or hardwood.
  • Any metal parts must be low reflective, factory pre-coloured materials.
  • They must not be electrical fencing or barbed wire in residential, industrial, or business zones, except zone R5.
  • If the fence is located in a koala habitat area or movement corridor, additional controls may be set by your council. 


For residential zone R1, R2, R3, R4, or RU5:

  • Side and rear boundary fences must not be higher than 1.8 metres or 1.2 metres if the fence is built from masonry.
  • Fences along a boundary of, or in the setback area of, a primary or secondary road must not be taller than 1.2 metres (this includes the front of the site and any side boundary on corner sites).
  • Fences along the boundary with, or within, the setback area to a secondary road must:
  • be at least 20 per cent transparent, above 400 millimetres
  • not have solid piers or posts wider than 350 millimetres.


What to Do to Secure a Renovation Permit?

  1. Learn what kind of permits you will need.
  2. Determine the extent of your renovation.
  3. Check out with your local council.
  4. Consider your heritage requirements.
  5. Compile the necessary documents.
  6. Talk to a professional.


Learn what kind of permits you will need.


Commonly, you will need two types of permits, planning and building.


A planning permit gives you permission for a specific land use or development to occur on a piece of land. The local council or public certifier ensures that the proposed development meets the zoning regulations and planning policies. 


It is commonly required when you want to remove trees or start a business. 


On the other hand, a building permit grants approval for the construction or renovation of a building or structure. The issuer ensures that the proposed building construction meets the building codes and standards and health and safety regulations.


It is a requirement if you need to have a renovation and it doesn’t fall under Exempt Development. 


Whether you need both will depend on the scope and nature of your project. For some projects, one permit is enough, while both may be required for others. It is best to consult with your local council to guide you.


Determine the extent of your renovation.


Identify all the upgrades that you will do in your renovation. Will you do minor repairs or cosmetic upgrades like painting a wall or replacing cabinet doors? If it’s just minor repairs, you won’t need a permit. 


But if it includes a house extension or making internal structural changes, there’s a higher chance you’ll need a permit. 


Check with your local council.


Check with your local council if your renovation requires a permit. Local councils have different rules and regulations, and some may have additional requirements depending on the type of renovation, location, and other factors. 


Consider heritage requirements.


If you’re renovating an older home or a heritage-listed property, additional heritage requirements may exist. Local councils may require you to secure additional documents and paperwork.


Compile the necessary documents.


Securing a permit can take one to three months or even more. To ensure you get your permit as soon as possible and not waste time and effort, prepare all the needed documents. 


These documents commonly include the following:

  • Detailed sketches and floor plans outlining the renovation
  • Environmental impact report
  • The estimated cost of the project (provided by an architect or builder)
  • Application form
  • Owner’s consent


Talk to a professional.


A professional builder or architect can guide you about the permits you need for your renovation. They can also help you design and plan your renovation project to ensure that it complies with local regulations and building codes.


MKJ Projects is a reputable building and construction company with over 13 years of experience. We can help you with all your renovation needs. For inquiries or a free quote, contact us now!


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