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Department of Justice

What you can build

Overview

There is some building work you can do without a permit or getting a builder surveyor involved.  Some of the more common things you can build are fences, low decks, small sheds no bigger than 18m².

If you are thinking about building a new shed yourself, then you need to make sure the size and design of your shed complies with the

  • National Construction Code and
  • Tasmanian legislation.

Your land maybe located in a heritage precinct, coastal erosion hazardous area, coastal inundation hazardous area, landslide hazardous area, biodiversity protection area, scenic landscape area or attenuation area.  Your local council will confirm whether your building work will have an impact on the land and surround area.

First step

Contact your local council to:

  • find out whether you can build on your property
  • find out if your building type requires a Planning Permit
  • find out what type of building approval process applies to your building type

More information about the roles that are responsible for building in Tasmania is found in the resources section below.

Building without a permit

As an owner you:

  • can do general maintenance and repairs on your home
  • can build fences, low decks, farm sheds and carports but some larger projects will need to be carried out only by a licensed builder without needing a building permit
  • can build small structures no bigger than 18m², or erect a prefabricated shed up to 36m² (means factory-made components or units that are transported and assembled on-site to form the complete building)
  • can engage a licensed builder to build larger structures without a building permit
  • may be able to contract a licensed builder to build a new house and a licensed building surveyor to approve your building
  • need to notify your local council when you have finished building certain low risk work by completing Form 80 Notice of Low Risk Work

Owner builder

As an owner you:

  • can do general maintenance and repairs on your home
  • can build fences, low decks, farm sheds and carports but some larger projects will need to be carried out only by a licensed builder without needing a building permit
  • can build small structures no bigger than 18m², or erect a prefabricated shed up to 36m2 (means factory-made components or units that are transported and assembled on-site to form the complete building)
  • can engage a licensed builder to build larger structures without a building permit
  • may be able to contract a licensed builder to build a new house and a licensed building surveyor to approve your building
  • need to notify your local council when you have finished building certain low risk projects

As an owner builder you:

  • would have been issued with an Owner Builder Permit under the Occupational Licensing Act 2005
  • can build a home and associated outbuildings
  • can build an extension on your home

Detailed information about what you can build can be found in the Director’s Determination – Categories of Building and Demolition Work in the Resource tab.

Notifiable work

Your building work is classified as notifiable building work when:

  • it is considered to be medium risk and will not be assessed by a council
  • it is not being carried out in a hazardous area or by an owner builder

Notifiable building work includes:

  • Class 1a kit homes (single story only) in appropriate soil;
  • larger sheds, garages, carports;
  • decks, boundary walls, fences, tanks, swimming pools;
  • Class 1a building which is standardised and fits within the Planning Directive 4.1 (e.g. a standard three bedroom house from one of the major building companies)

Building surveyor

You should ensure your building surveyor is licensed to work in Tasmania. Search the database.

They will:

  • assess the proposed design and building work to make sure it is compliant with the National Construction Code and Tasmanian legislation
  • send a complete copy of all relevant documentation to your local council so they have a record of your building.

They will ask you to:

  • provide a planning permit or information that a permit from council is not required
  • provide plans drawn up by a licensed Building Designer or Architect
  • provide details of builder that you have contracted
  • pay fees

If you need a set of plans

For any permit and notifiable building work you will need a set of plans.  You need to make sure that the building designer or architect you contract to do the work is licensed to work in Tasmania.  To find a licensed building services provider you can search the licensed database.

Your Building Designer or Architect will:

  • tell you what services they offer
  • check the local planning rules and restrictions for your build
  • check for any site restrictions or limitations
  • give you a written quote for the fees you will be charged
  • check your Certificate of Title to make sure you are not building over an easement
  • contact Dial Before You Dig to make sure there is no interference with our valuable underground assets
  • book at time to visit your property
  • arrange a soil test

If you require a builder

Your builder must be licensed to build in Tasmania.  Search licensed database.

You will need to:

  • ask for quotes that list the material and labour cost separately so you can make a comparison
  • make sure you provide the same information to each building company for accurate quoting
  • consider quality, reputation and value for money of each builder
  • select a builder that you can work well with
  • make a list all of the fixed items that you want for the kitchen, bathroom , toilet and laundry  that are not on the plan (e.g. oven, hotplates, range-hood, tap wear, cabinets, ceiling fans)
  • make a list of all the internal and external finishes and materials  for your house
  • make a list of where you want your power points, light and dimmer switches located
  • consider reducing your energy costs with good insulation and positioning (orientation) of your house; more information can be found in Your guide to 6 star energy efficiency houses in Tasmania.

Make sure your builder gives you a copy of the Residential Building Consumer Guide before you sign the contract

Last step

You can start building when:

  • you are given a planning and building permit (if your local council said you needed these); or
  • your builder gets a start-work authorisation from your Building Surveyor

You can move into your new house, extension or addition when:

  • all permit conditions are met and you are given a Certificate of Occupancy