When is a building approval (certification) required?
A building development approval (certification), also known as a building permit, is needed before you start construction on most types of domestic or commercial building works. Council does not provide certification services; you will need to engage a registered private certifier.
Building approval (certification) is required for most building works, including but not limited to:
- new dwellings
- alterations and additions to existing buildings (including new roofs)
- house removal and relocation
- carports and sheds (including the DIY kit type, because Cairns is in a cyclonic region)
- roofed patios, gazebos, pergolas and shade sails (including the DIY kit type)
- fences over 2 metres in height above the natural ground level
- retaining walls over 1 metre in height above natural ground level or within 1.5m of a building or other retaining wall
- swimming pools and spas
Approval is required if you are doing the building work yourself or employing the services of a licensed builder. You will need a private building certifier who will assess whether the proposed work complies with the Building Act 1975 and associated regulations and building standards. All building certifiers must be registered with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
Please note Cairns Regional Council does not offer building certification services.
Where can I find a private building certifier?
Council cannot recommend any particular private certifiers. The Queensland Building and Construction Commission offers a Finding a Licensed Certifier service.
Further advice on engaging a certifier can also be found at the Department of Housing and Public Works website.
What else should I do?
It is important to ensure that you check whether any other types of approvals are required, including planning approvals or plumbing approvals from Council, prior to obtaining a building approval. Your building certifier should be able to give you this information in the initial stage.
Check that your building records are given to Council.
During the building application and approval process, the private building certifier is required to lodge a copy of approval related documentation with Council. A copy of these documents is held on Council's records in accordance with the legislation.