Building a home or renovating can be an exciting but daunting process. Bega Valley Shire Council has tried to make the process easier by outlining the steps in simple terms. The first thing you should do is research, whether it’s information about builders and building contracts, changes to the way the industry is regulated or simply the latest materials and environmentally-friendly designs, it’s a good idea to have some knowledge. This simple but important advice can save you time and money in the long term - whether you are an owner-builder or employing a licensed builder to project manage your job.
These following sites may be a good place to start:
Before any work starts you will need to have a Construction Certificate. The Construction Certificate ensures conditions specified in the development consent and relevant legislation in the Building Code of Australia are satisfied. It can be issued by either Council or an accredited private certifier.
Construction certificate application form
If you apply to Council for your Construction Certificate you can fill out the same application form as you filled out to obtain your development consent. Some of the information you will be asked to submit will be the same information as you provided with your Development Application (DA) such as site and elevation plans and BASIX plans. However your Construction Certificate application will require more detailed technical plans, including engineering details and specifications.
Different developments and construction will involve different requirements and Council will let you know of the specific information you need to provide, however for a guide please go to Council’s Application Guidelines, also go to the Environment Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, Part 3 of Schedule 1.
Issue of the Construction Certificate
Council or an Accredited Private Certifier will issue a Construction Certificate after they are satisfied that:
As well as a Construction Certificate you may need to gain additional approval for other work such as connecting to Council’s water and sewerage services or building a driveway. These additional approvals under Section 68 of the Local Government Act can only be authorised by Council. Work that will require additional approval is also listed in Council’s Application Guidelines. These include:
Apply for additional approvals by ticking the additional approvals box on the application form and then completing the additional forms. A list of all relevant forms is available on the Application Forms page. Note also that only Council is authorised to carry out plumbing and drainage inspections.
Go to Council’s Fees and Charges for costs involved in obtaining a Construction Certificate and other associated approvals. Please note that for construction costing $25,000 or more a Long Service Levy is also applicable and must be paid before a Construction Certificate can be issued. Fees can be paid to the Long Service Levy Payments Corporation either directly or through the Bega Valley Shire Council. This fee is charged at 0.35 per cent of the construction cost. Owner-builders and non-profit organisations may seek an exemption of up to 50 per cent. For further information on the Long Service Levy, please contact the Long Service Corporation on 13 14 41.
Make sure Council is notified of the intended commencement of work at least two days prior to the start of any work. This can be done by completing the Notice of Commencement Form and lodging the form with Council.
Construction site maintenance
The Principal Certifying Authority will conduct mandatory critical stage inspections throughout construction. Inspections ensure work is going to plan and is within the agreed guidelines. If Council is appointed as the Principal Certifying Authority, your builder will need to contact Council at least 48 hours before an inspection is required. If you are an owner-builder, you will need to contact Council at least 48 hours before an inspection is required.
Issue of Occupation Certificate
Prior to the occupation or use of any building an Occupation Certificate must be issued by the Principal Certifying Authority. The Occupation Certificate verifies the Principal Certifying Authority is satisfied the building is suitable to occupy or use in terms of the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and relevant development consent conditions. Fire safety certificates may need to be presented before an Occupation Certificate can be issued.
If you do not feel able to prepare your own application engaging professional assistance may add to your costs in the short term, but may also reduce delays and frustration and even refusal of your application. Please also feel free to call Council on 02 6499 2222 or view our pre-lodgement advice page.