Getting a building permit

A step-by-step guide

Step 1.Before you begin

We recommend you consult with an architect or drafter for building design and technical advice.

Consulting an expert helps make sure your design meets building legislation and makes it easier to obtain the documentation you need for your building permit application.

Step 2.Appoint a Building Surveyor

In Victoria, the owner can choose to appoint a municipal building surveyor or a private registered building surveyor. This is done by submitting an application to either council or with a private registered building surveyor.

You can search for private registered building surveyors using the VBA Look up a practitioner tool or by visiting the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors website.

Step 3.Check if other permits are required

A planning permit may be required before a building permit is issued. For example, this might happen when constructing a second residential dwelling on a single lot.

You can apply for both at the same time, however, it is important to know that approval for a building permit may take days whilst other permits can take longer.

Depending on the circumstances, you may need a report and consent permit, legal point of discharge, bushfire attack level form, an asset protection permit or road reserve permit.

You will need make sure you have all the permits you need before you start building.

Step 4.Prepare, submit and pay fees for the building permit application

You will need to submit a copy the following:

  • Site plan (minimum scale 1:500);
  • Floor plan – fully dimensioned and labeled floor plan including, total floor areas, window & door sizes;
  • Section plan – indicating roof cladding, pitch, floor, wall, roof construction details. Framework size and type and finished floor levels;
  • Elevations – of each side of the building; which clearly indicate the building height in relation to existing and proposed ground levels;
  • Structural plans – fully dimensioned and labeled footing construction plan including reinforcement;
  • Bracing and tie down – Specific connection details, a bracing layout and tie-down details for framework;
  • Steps and stairs – details of any steps, handrails, balustrades or the like;
  • Copy of the land title and (where applicable) an approved plan of the subdivision;
  • A Certificate of Insurance under the Domestic Building Contracts Act for domestic building work exceeding $16,000 in value, constructed by Registered Building Practitioners (Registered Builders only);
  • A Current Certificate of Compliance – Design, in accordance with Regulation 126 and associated computations for steel & timber components outside of the design limits of recognized span tables (engineered buildings only);
  • A Certificate of Consent from the Victorian Building Authority act as an owner-builder if the value of work exceeds $16,000 (owner-builders only). 

Lodge and track your application online

Alternatively, you can email the application to

Step 5.Your application is assessed

Once you have submitted all the required documents, we assess your application to ensure it is compliant with the Building Act 1993, Building Regulations 2018 and National Construction Code.

Step 6.Respond to any requests for further information

We may request details that are missing or unclear in the application documents.

Step 7.Receive a building permit

If we determine that your application meets the required standards, we’ll send you your building permit and endorsed drawings.

The building permit includes information about mandatory inspections required throughout building works.

Step 8.Arrange the first building inspection

Contact council's building department to arrange your first inspection with a building inspector.

Your building permit will contain instructions on how and when to do this.

Step 9.Read the building inspection report

The building inspector performs a mandatory inspection to make sure that all work is completed in accordance with the permit.

After the inspection, you’ll receive either an approval or a direction to fix. If you receive a direction to fix, it’s important to attend to the items listed within the required time frame.

Mandatory inspections continue until the work is completed and complies to building legislation.

Step 10.Prepare for the final inspection and occupancy inspection

Before the last inspection, you may need to submit an application for an occupancy permit. This allows you to occupy the building after work is completed and approved

Step 11.Building surveyor issues an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection

Once your building project is complete, your building surveyor will issue an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection. It will say on your building permit if you need an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection.