Home Builds – Legals

The Legal Implications When Constructing a Home

Things aren’t like they used to be in the old days where people could just decide on a plot of land for their construction and then get on with it the following morning. These days, there are legislations, policies and legal documents to take in to account, but that doesn’t have to be a hard process at all. In fact, with more and more home owners deciding to construct their own homes from scratch (with the help of professionals), it’s no wonder why councils and authorities are making the process easier and easier.

As soon as you’ve finished finalizing the design of your home and obtained a rough estimate for the cost of the overall construction, you’ll want to consider tackling the issue of planning permission. This is a fairly straightforward process and it will involve filling in a few forms for review by council officials. If your request is accepted, then you will receive official documentation stating that you have permission to build. If your request is rejected however, you can simply query the reason for rejection and ascertain whether or not you can modify specific factors that may have led to a rejection before resubmitting for consideration again.

This process is known as a Development Application, or a DA for short. As the owner or developer of the property, you’ll have to submit a DA in order to receive approval. You’ll have to attach specific information about your intentions, such as design drawings, blueprints, sketches and preliminary ideas. You’ll also need to provide a Materials Reuse Statement as well as a BASIX Certificate so that your request can be properly evaluated.

It is these documents that will demonstrate the expectations of your home, including size, energy consumption, waste, style and so on. If you fail to submit these forms (all of which will be clearly defined when you receive your application forms), and instead decide to go ahead with your home construction without permission, you may be liable for prosecution if unable to provide a worthy reason and in severe cases your home may be demolished, although this is unlikely. In most instances, a ‘freeze’ is placed on the home until proper approval can be issued.

Another important document for any home owner to obtain is known as a Building Construction Certificate, or BCC for short. This is the second section of a council’s approval process and a homeowner or construction company will not be permitted to undertake any form of construction until this certificate has been provided by your local council.

Once you have all of your documentation in order and have received an approval confirmation, you will be provided a date in which your approval will become active (usually within the space of a week or two) and at this point you’ll be able to undertake your home construction without delay.