Do I need a building permit?

If you plan to build or renovate, you may need a building permit before commencing work.

A building permit is different to a planning permit. In some cases, you need both a building and planning permit. You must obtain a planning permit before you can apply for a building permit. Visit our planning permits page for more information.

Most building work in Victoria requires a building permit. This may include:

  • the construction of a new building such as a dwelling, shed or garage
  • alterations or additions to an existing building
  • demolition of an existing building
  • change of use to a building 
  • other works including decks, balconies, verandas, pergolas, fences and swimming pools.

Not all building projects require a building permit. Below you will find a list of common building works that may or may not require a building permit. This should be used as a guide only.

For more information on whether you need a permit, see:


Common types of building work
Building permit required?
Additions to a dwelling or any other building Yes
Structural alteration to a dwelling or any other building Yes
Removal or alteration to a load bearing part of a building Yes
Carport or garage
Freestanding with floor area not exceeding 10sqm, no more than 3m high, not constructed of masonry  and located no further forward on the allotment than the associated building No
Attached to another building Yes
Setback less than the associated building Yes
Demolition or removal
Demolition or removal or part or all of a building. Owner-builders must provide the relevant building surveyor with evidence that the demolisher has the necessary knowledge, experience, equipment and storage facilities Yes
Construction of a side or boundary fence less than 2m high No
Construction of a brick fence more than 1.2m high  Yes
Construction of a timber or colorbond front fence more than 1.5m high Yes
Construction of a fence more than 1m high, within 9m of the point of intersection of street alignment Yes
Construction of a chain wire tennis court fence No
Construction of a corner fence more than 1m high within a 9m boundary of the point of intersection, more than 1.5m high on the front boundary or more than 2m high on the side boundary Yes
Construction of a dividing or common boundary fence that also acts as part of an enclosure to a spa or swimming pool Yes
Fire hydrant
Installation and deletion of, and/or alternations to fire hydrants within property boundaries Yes
Mast or antenna
Height more than 3m above the highest point of a building (if attached to a building) Yes
Height more than 8m above the ground (if not attached to a building) Yes
Construction of a pergola (unroofed) associated with a house, not exceeding 20sqm, not more than 3m high and located no further forward on the allotment than the dwelling No
Construction of a pergola (unroofed) associated with any other building Yes
Retaining wall
Constructed on or near site boundaries (any height) in order to maintain the stability of the adjoining property Yes
Construction of a retaining wall 1m or more in height Yes
Reblocking or restumping of an existing building Yes
Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with concrete or terracotta roofing tiles Yes
Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with colorbond or other prefinished sheeting No
More than 1m above ground level within 3m of the street alignment Yes
More than 8m above ground level, and more than 6sqm in a display area and more than 3m from the street alignment boundary Yes
Erection of a shed less than 10sqm in area, no more than 3m high, not constructed of masonry and located no further forward on the allotment than the associated building No
Erection of a shed more than 10sqm in area Yes
Swimming pool or spa
Construction of an in-ground pool or spa greater than 300mm in depth. All swimming pool/spa safety barriers require a building permit.  Yes
Construction of a verandah attached to any other building Yes
Water tank
Water tank associated with new construction of, or additions to a building Yes
Replacement of windows with similar type windows, where no structural alterations are required No
Installation of bay or corner type windows where structural alterations are required Yes
Wood heater
Installation of a wood heater (solid fuel burning appliance) No


If you require a building permit, you will need to appoint a building surveyor. This can either be a private building surveyor or a surveyor at Council.

Visit our building permit process page to get started.