Building Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1:     What sort of building or construction does not need a permit?

Question 2:     Do I need a building permit for a relocated dwelling?

Question 3:     Do I need a building permit for a retaining wall?

Question 4:     When will I need to provide and Engineer’s Certification with my building permit application?

Question 5:     Do I need a building permit for a pergola?

Question 6:     Do I need a building permit for a garden shed?

Question 7:     Do I need a building permit for a shade sail shelter?

Question 8:     When do I need a registered builder?

Question 9:     Do I have to be registered as an Owner Builder to build my own shed?

Question 10:     How do I register as an Owner Builder?

Question 11:     Do I need to apply for a building permit if I am just updating an existing structure?

Question 12:     How long is a building permit valid for?

Question 13:     What do I do if my builder does not complete their work and I have to get another builder to finish?

Question 14:     How long is a demolition permit valid for?

Question 15:     What is required to accompany an application for a demolition permit?

Question 16:     Do I need planning consent before applying for a demolition permit?

Question 17:     What are some structures that may or may not need a demolition permit?

Question 18:     Do I need a building permit for my water tank?

Question 19:     Do I need a licence or building permit for my swimming pool/spa?

Question 20:     What sort of barrier do I need for my swimming pool or spa?

Question 21:     Can I build over septic and leach drains?

Question 22:     Can I live in a caravan on my land whilst there is building in progress?

Question 23:     Can I live in my shed?

Question 24:     How can I get more information?

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Question 1: What sort of building or construction does not need a permit?

The following types of building work do not require a building permit:

  • Class 10a buildings (i.e. sheds or other non-habitable outbuildings) that are less than 10m2 and 2.4m in height.
  • Renovation, alteration, improvement, repair or maintenance of a building or incidental structure that does not affect the structural soundness of the building.
  • Retaining walls that are less than 0.5m in height.
  • Water storage tanks with a capacity of 5,000L or less, or mounted on a tank stand less than 1 metre high.

The above information is provided in the Building Regulations 2012. If you are still unsure, please contact Building Services 9941 0000 or by email at building@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

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Question 2: Do I need a building permit for a relocated dwelling?

You can ‘relocate’ an existing house to another property and will require a building permit.

A relocated building is completely different to a transportable building, it is – an existing house that has been built on a property with the correct building permits etc. that were required at the time of construction. It can be relocated to a new property and will require a building permit issued to either a registered builder or a licenced owner builder.

Note:
An owner builder licence is only granted to the owners of the property where the building is going to be constructed or relocated to.

A demolition licence will be required to ‘remove’ the house from its original location, or in accordance with any details as required by the permit authority of the jurisdiction from where it is removed.

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Question 3: Do I need a building permit for a retaining wall?

Yes. A retaining wall is a structural element that other buildings or parts of buildings may rely on for support. The answer for individual cases should be discussed with the permit authority (Shire of Carnarvon).  Please contact Building Services 9941 0000 or by email at building@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

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Question 4: When will I need to provide and Engineer’s Certification with my building permit application?

An engineer's certification is required in the following instances:

  • Steel structures that involve steel member sizes and structural arrangements beyond the scope of the National Construction Code 2019 (BCA).
  • Site classifications and site reports.
  • All second storey's (including additions and mezzanine floors).
  • Solid masonry fences and walls over 1.8m in height.
  • Retaining walls supporting building surcharge loads or soil backfill.
  • Pylon signs.
  • Complex structures involving the application of structural principles beyond the provisions of the National Construction Code 2019, and larger scale concrete and masonry structures.

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Question 5: Do I need a building permit for a pergola?

A pergola is a Class 10 structure that may require a building permit and should be discussed with the permit authority (Shire of Carnarvon). 

Please contact Building Services 9941 0000 or by email at building@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

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Question 6: Do I need a building permit for a garden shed?

A building permit is required if the garden shed is larger than 9m2 (in area), and higher than 2.1 metres at the eaves line.

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Question 7: Do I need a building permit for a shade sail shelter?

Yes, as there are restrictions on the proximity and connection details to a boundary and should be discussed with the permit authority (Shire of Carnarvon). 

Please contact Building Services 9941 0000 or by email at building@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

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Question 8: When do I need a registered builder?

You will need a registered builder for any work over $20,000 (private or commercial).

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Question 9: Do I have to be registered as an Owner Builder to build my own shed?

If the value of the build is less than $20,000 you can build without registering as an owner builder.

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Question 10: How do I register as an Owner Builder?

You register with the Department of Commerce.

For further information, click here to view the Building Commission website.  https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-and-energy/owner-builder-application

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Question 11: Do I need to apply for a building permit if I am just updating an existing structure?

Yes. Note: Energy Efficiency may also be affected by building additions/replacement etc. Check with the permit authority (Shire of Carnarvon). 

Please contact Building Services 9941 0000 or by email at building@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

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Question 12: How long is a building permit valid for?

Two years with options to apply for extensions beyond that time.  Fees do apply for extensions of a Building Permit.

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Question 13: What do I do if my builder does not complete their work and I have to get another builder to finish?

The original builder will need to complete a Notice of Cessation (BA8) which advises the work completed and work not completed, along with all certificates or proof of tests completed to date of cessation. The new builder will need to apply for a building permit for the remainder of work.

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Question 14: How long is a demolition permit valid for?

2 years.

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Question 15: What is required to accompany an application for a demolition permit?

You need a site plan showing the location of the building/s to be demolished, floor plan, elevations, proof of baiting, evidence of insurances, safe working plan.

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Question 16: Do I need planning consent before applying for a demolition permit?

A demolition does not require planning consent, except in the case of Heritage Listed structures. Check with the permit authority (Shire of Carnarvon). 

Please contact the Planning Department 9941 0000 or by email at shire@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

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Question 17: What are some structures that may or may not need a demolition permit?

A demolition permit is not required for a domestic 10a structure (i.e. sheds or other non-habitable outbuildings) that has a floor area under 40m2 and/or less than 10m2. A registered contractor is required for any commercial structure.

Contact Worksafe on 9842 8366 for further information.

A demolition permit is required for a house.

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Question 18: Do I need a building permit for my water tank?

A building permit is required for a water tank on a tank stand higher than 1 metre above finished ground.

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Question 19: Do I need a licence or building permit for my swimming pool/spa?

A building permit is required under the Building Act and the Regulations prior to installing, constructing or altering swimming and spa pool barriers, including windows, door and gates that provide access to a swimming or spa pool area. A building permit is also required for the construction of swimming and spa pools.

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Question 20: What sort of barrier do I need for my swimming pool or spa?

Compliant safety barriers are required for in-ground, above-ground, and indoor swimming and spa pools that contain water that is 300mm deep or more. Swimming pool safety barriers are to satisfy Australian Standard AS 1926.1

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Question 21: Can I build over septic and leach drains?

All structures including buildings, footings, retaining walls, sealed or paved area, fences, patio posts etc. or any boundary must be at least 1.8m from leach drains or soak wells and 1.2m away from septic tanks. A patio roof may be located over the septic tank (so long as the posts are at the correct distance from it) but no roof cover is permitted over leach drains. This allows for maximum exposure to sun and to allow for evaporation.

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Question 22: Can I live in a caravan on my land whilst there is building in progress?

Temporary caravan accommodation is not permitted unless Planning consent is granted by the Shire of Carnarvon. If consent granted, conditions apply. Check with the permit authority (Shire of Carnarvon). 

Please contact the Planning Department 9941 0000 or by email at shire@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

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Question 23: Can I live in my shed?

Living in a shed is not permitted within the Shire of Carnarvon. The permit authority (Shire of Carnarvon) will not approve a shed until a permit for a dwelling has been approved and has been substantially commenced (slab down or any stage beyond). Once your house has been approved, then you may apply to live onsite in a caravan for 12 months whilst your house is being built (this will be the only time living onsite in anything other than a house).

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Question 24:      How can I get more information

For further information please contact the permit authority (Shire of Carnarvon) on 9941 0000 or:

Building Services - building@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

Planning Department – shire@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

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