Do I need a building permit?

Whenever you construct, extend or modify a structure you will need a building permit. 

Most building work in Victoria requires a building permit, and you must obtain the permit before starting any works.

Building permits are documents certifying that a proposed building complies with the relevant building regulations.

To apply for a building permit, you will need to complete an Application for a Building Permit(PDF, 956KB), submit plans and other required documentation to demonstrate the proposed building work will comply with the Building Regulations.

Do I need a building permit?

The table below is an extract from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) and should be used as a guide only. It is important to contact a building officer before building or undertaking any works. It is also important to consult with Council to find out whether a planning permit is required for any of the proposed works. A planning permit is required prior to a building permit being issued and works commencing.

We recommend you view the VBA's full listing: When is a Building Permit required?


A permit is required for additions to a dwelling or any other building


A permit is required for structural alterations to a dwelling or any other building

A permit is required for removal of or alteration to a load bearing part of a building



A permit is not required for fences that adjoin side and rear property lines, if constructed under 2 metres high.

A permit is required for front fences constructed of brick or stone above 1.2 metres in height or timber and steel fences above 1.5 metres in height.

Fencing located on the front and side street boundaries of a corner property cannot exceed one metre in height when within nine metres of the intersection of street alignments.

At other times, the fence itself might not require a permit, however the removal of trees or other native vegetation, may. Other permissions such as a building permit may also be required.

It is important that you talk to a planner before you start work to check what approvals you need.



A permit is required for the replacement of corrugated iron roofing with concrete or terracotta roofing tiles.

A permit is not required for the replacement of corrugated iron roofing with 'Colorbond' or other pre-finished sheeting

Carports or garages

A permit is required for construction of a garage/carport larger than 10m2 in area

A permit is not required for the demolition of freestanding garage/carport, as long as its not constructed of masonry, is not more than 40m2 in floor area, is not a building on the Heritage Register, and the work will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building.



Pergola (unroofed)

A permit is not required if the pergola is less than 3.6m high, 20m2 in area and located at the rear of the building to which it is appurtenant.

A permit is required if the pergola is located further forward than 2.5m forward of the front wall of the single dwelling





A permit is required if the height is more than three metres above the highest point of the building.

A permit is required if the mast or antenna is not attached to a building and the height is more than eight metres above the ground


A permit is required for reblocking or restumping an existing building

Retaining walls

A permit is required for construction on or near site boundaries (any height)

A permit is required for construction of a retaining wall one metre or more in height

Decks and verandahs

A permit is required for decks and verandahs that are attached to a building such as a house or a swimming pool, irrespective of size

A permit is required for detached decks as part of the amenity to a building

Shed associated with single dwelling

A permit is not required for the construction of a freestanding shed 10m2 or less in area, three metres or less in height, or, if situated within one metre of a boundary, is no more than 2.4 metres in height and located no further forward than the front wall of the single dwelling

A permit is required for any shed more than 10m2 in area



A permit is required for signs more than one metres in height and within three metres of the street alignment

A permit is required for signs more than eight metres above ground level, and more than 6m2 in display area.


Swimming pools or spas

A permit is required for the constructions of an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool/spa greater than 300mm in depth



A permit is not required for the replacement of windows with the same windows, where no alteration to the opening is required.

A permit is required for the installation of “bay” or “corner” type windows where structural alterations are required



Wood heater

A permit is not required for the installation of a wood heater 

Solar panels

The installation of rooftop solar panels and other roof mounted plant or equipment installed on a building is classified as building work because it involves the alteration of an existing building.

Fixings for installation might also affect the existing roof structure. Different conditions, including roof coverings, roof pitch, type of framing, bracing and wind loads will need to be considered prior to installation.

An assessment will need to be done by a civil engineer.


Are there exemptions? 

Some minor building work does not need a building permit or occupancy permit. We suggest getting the advice of a building practitioner if you are seeking a building permit exemption. To be exempt, the property owner must be able to demonstrate full compliance with the building regulations.

You can find out more by visiting Victorian Building Authority - Planning and Building Permits.

What's next?

If you have determined that your building work requires a permit, find out more about the steps involved in applying for a building permit.