Do I Need A Building Certifier?

 

The short answer…YES 

If you are thinking of starting any construction work, whether it be on your own home, an investment property or commercial property, chances are you will need to have the works certified/signed off by a building certifier. 

In the age of Googling a definition – A building certifier is “a professional agent who ensures all structures meet with local and national building codes and regulations to ensure safe and secure infrastructure for yourself and the community”. 

The key to the reason why you need a building certifier – SAFETY.  For your safety and the safety of others.  Think of it as your insurance that the works undertaken are completed right the first time! 

By LAW you are required to obtain a building permit BEFORE any construction begins. Proceeding with works without a building permit or having a pre-existing building without certification is a big no no!  

NCC Plans

It is also in your best interest to engage a certifier first as pre-existing works can be costly on your wallet and may even lead to enforcement notices being issued from your local council. A building certifier checks your proposed plans to make sure every detail meets the required building laws and regulations in your area or state and as a result provides a building permit.  

Ways to cover yourself: 

  • When buying a property – always ask for a copy of any existing permits or plans, just to be sure 
  • Engage a professional – if in doubt, ask the question! 

For more information check out our previous blogs or give us a call.   

Do you really want to put yourself or your family at risk if your reno isn’t up to scratch? Just a simple call or email will let you know if you are on the right rack! Safety first! 

Pool Certification

Are you ready for summer? 

Did you know it is a requirement, by law, that you have a certified pool fence in Queensland? This has been in effect since December 2015.  Whilst it seems a little daunting for property owners who have had their pools for years, it is a fairly easy process to complete.  

If you have recently replaced your pool fence or have just installed a new pool, we can help make sure you are compliant.  

Making sure you have a fence that is in good condition and undamaged goes a long way to keeping everyone safe. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death, in Queensland, for children under 5 years old.  These stats are scary and supervising children in the pool, along with teaching them how to swim are only 2 parts of the puzzle.   

Simple things to think about:  

  • Does the gate self-close? 
  • Pool gates MUST open outwards 
  • There is a requirement for a non-climbable zone of 900mm 
  • Is your fence height a minimum of 1200mm from the finished ground level to the top? 
  • Do you have a compliant CPR sign displayed?
  • Are there any damaged fence panels?  

In Queensland, you are required to provide a pool safety certificate when you sell or lease your property.  There are lots of great resources available, including a checklist to help you prepare for your inspections and see what you might need to do before we come onsite. 

Did you know? 

  • Since 1 November 2011, ALL pools are required to be registered.  To check if your pool is on the register…Is my pool registered? 
  • Form 21 compliance will be lodged with Pool safety council as part of KP Building Approvals service (no extra fee) 

 

Pool demolishment 

Most people are generally unaware that removing a pool also requires certification.  Once you have decided whether you are removing/demolishing or filling it in, Council requires you to notify them and provide a building compliance certificate.  

If in doubt, a simple phone call or email will help put your mind at ease.  KP Building Approvals are happy to have a chat and give you advice on what you need to do to be and stay compliant. 

For more information:  

QBCC provides a comprehensive and helpful guide to pool regulations and information http://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/home-building-owners/pool-safety/overview

What Does A Building Certifier Do?

Ok, now I know why I need a building certifier but what exactly do they do?  

Firstly, a building certifier will inspect your plans and supporting documents and complete what’s called a ‘preliminary study’. From here, you will receive an Information Request outlining everything required to obtain a successful Decision Notice for your project.

This is where it is up to you.  Collecting all the relevant requested documentation may seem time consuming but the process is far easier to do at the beginning then retrospectively if you get a ‘show cause notice’.  Remember to keep records over the life of your ownership – this helps with queries in the future and also aids the selling process down the track. 

A building certifier is authorised to issue you with the following documentation: 

  • Building permit (Northern Territory) 
  • Decision notice (Queensland) 
  • Inspection certificates 
  • Final occupancy permit (Northern Territory) 
  • Alternative solutions 
  • Siting applications 
  • Informant notices 

HINT: It is important to do your research and shop around, private certifiers can often offer you better deals, better customer experience and shorter time-frames.  Check google reviews and ask for a referral! 

Whether you are building your dream home, an entertainers’ patio or simply a shed out the back, your first stop should be asking a professional for advice.  Some building project, not many, but some don’t require a certifier however a simple phone call or email asking for guidance will eliminate the stress going forward.   

 

For more information on roles and responsibilities of a certifier, visit the QBCC website. 

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call, send an email or come in and visit us at our Capalaba office. 

 

A building certifier must ensure structures are safe to the public and that all laws, building codes and regulations are met.