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If you’re looking to build a shed, pool, patio or even replacing your roof, chances are you will need it approved by a building certifier.


Your structure will need to be assessed against the Planning Act 2016 (PA), and other specific building legislation to ensure that it complies with codes and regulations in order to determine whether:


  • the structure has been designed and constructed that will be safe to use
  • has appropriate level of fire safety
  • has appropriate level of protection from pests
  • has appropriate sewer and drainage if necessary
  • meets (at least) the minimum energy and water efficiency standards Common building projects that require building approval include:
  • building class 1a – dwelling houses, additions and alterations, aged accommodations, utility room or similar, sunrooms.
  • building class 10a – pergolas, patios, shipping containers (over 30 days on residential property), open shade/shelter/huts, storage sheds, decks, green houses, cubby houses, carports, animal accommodations, garages, gazebos,
  • building class 10b – flag poles, aerial/antennae/satellite dishes, fences (over 2m, swimming pool fences), pontoons, retaining walls, screening walls, detached decks, sunhoods, signs, roofing, portal pools and spas, swimming

If you have any doubts or questions, always contact your local council or a local building certifier. Not addressing concerns may not only be financially costly to remedy but may result in further fines from council and even result in legal action.


There are certain works that may not require approval. These works are referred to as accepted development in the Building and Planning Act 2016. This means that whilst a building approval may not be required, the owner still has a duty to ensure that the structure complies with standards – including structural quality, size and still adheres to the guidelines – in the planning scheme and Queensland Development codes.


Examples of accepted development includes:


  • small tool shed, stable or the like up to 10 square metres in area
  • a fence not more than two metres high (but excludes swimming pool fencing)
  • a one metre high retaining wall (subject to complying with specific conditions).

For the full list of accepted (exempt) building works, follow this link to see the full Schedule 1 and 2 from Building Regulation 2006.



It is recommended that you seek advice from local council or a building certifier before you start any major and even minor construction work, as a building development approval may be required. They will advise you whether you require a building development approval (also known as building permits), where upon receiving the permit will allow you to officially carry out the project on your property and ensure that works carried out will comply with local standards and legislation.


You can lodge an application for a building permit through your local council or engage with an accredited building certifier who will lodge on your behalf. Ensure you have all the necessary building plans, engineering and any further information before you commence this step!


After the permit has been granted, construction of the project can commence.


Step 1: Submit initial information (building plans, elevations, engineering, QBCC insurance, etc)


Step 2: Quoting Stage – a quote will be issued and should you choose to accept it, the application will proceed to the next step.


Step 3: Assessment Stage – The assessment manager (building certifier or council) will check the provided information against all relevant standards, planning requirements and development codes to ensure compliance. If further information and/or applications (relaxation, build over sewer, etc) are required, a request for information will be issued.


Step 4: Approval Stage – Once all relevant applications have been approved and all information has been supplied, the assessment manager will issue the building approval. This will include a decision notice and approved plans as a minimum.


Step 5: Construction Stage – Once the building approval has been issued, you can proceed with the building works.


Step 6: Inspection Stage – It is important to check the mandatory inspections and certificates listed on the decision notice to see what inspections are required, and determine if you will need to engage a third party, such as an engineer to complete a stage inspection (eg. footing/slab). Once the building works are complete, the applicant must contact the assessment manager to arrange a final inspection.


Step 7: Completion – Once the final inspection is completed, if there are no outstanding items on the inspection report, the final inspection certificate or certificate of classification will be issued to the applicant and Council to formally finalise the application. If there are non-compliances or outstanding items on an inspection report, these items will need to be rectified before the final certificate will be issued.


Want to see how Fluid keeps your project flowing smoothly? Check out a more in depth Fluid Building Approval Process map here.


There are some instances where building certifiers cannot approve a project, and you will be required to contact council directly, or the building certifier can facilitate the lodgement of a referral. These include, but are not limited to:

  • town planning matters (building works that is affected by a neighbourhood plan, overlays, etc)
  • houses over 9.5m in height from the natural ground within most residential zones
  • character or heritage building works or removal.

Council decisions are also required building work on:

Ready to chat with a building certifier?

 A local team will promptly assist you with your queries!

Only want to build a shed/patio/carport or similar minor structure? We recommend Kingdom Building & Carpentry to get the job done.


Don’t want to pay a draftsperson to draw up a plan for you? Please use the following link to get access to free aerial mapping in QLD. 


Use the print function and specify a scale of 1:250 or 1:500 to ensure that your plan is of an appropriate scale. From there you can trace the aerial image to accurately outline all existing structures and your proposed building works.


Tip: Make sure you include dimensions on the plans from the proposed structure to the two closest boundaries