Steps in your building project

1. Apply for a planning permit (if required)

If your project requires a planning permit, then you must have the planning permit before a building permit can be issued.

When you need a planning permit has information about what types of building and land use projects require a planning permit, and planning process provides information on how to apply.    

2. Choose your building surveyor

Building permits are issued by building surveyors. You can choose a building surveyor from Council or a private registered building surveyor.  

Moreland City Council Building Services offers a competitive building permit and inspection service. This service issues building permits and does inspections for residential and commercial building projects within the City of Merri-bek, see apply for a building permit for more information.

Make sure you confirm your choice of surveyor in writing - a phone call or a verbal agreement is not enough.

3. Apply for a building permit or other permits

Victorian law states that all building works require a building permit, unless it is exempt. See when you need a building permit for a list of works that are exempt.

Your architect or builder can apply for a building permit on your behalf, but it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct permit.

To do this, you should:

  • in writing, authorise an architect or builder to complete the building permit application
  • not sign a blank form authorising your builder or architect to get permits for you, and
  • always check that a permit has been issued before any work begins.

To comply with the Building Code, all new homes, home renovations, alterations and additions must meet the 6 star standard. The Victorian Building Authority has more information about the 6 star standard.

You can use Council’s free STEPS online tool to measure the environmental impacts of your design for a home. 

See apply for a building permit for more information.

You may also require other permits for your building project, such as drainage connection permits or consent to demolish. See other permits you may require for more information.

4. Determine if you need to protect an adjoining property

Prior to getting your building permit, your building surveyor will let you know if you need to protect an adjoining property from potential damage from your building work.

If building work is close to or adjacent to adjoining property boundaries, then you may be required to carry out protection work in respect of that adjoining property. The Victorian Building Authority has more information.

If your building permit is to be issued by the Municipal Building Surveyor of Council then use a Protection Work Notice (DOC 40Kb).

Do not use these notices if you have appointed a private building surveyor to issue a building permit.

5. Commence building works

Once the building permit is issued, building work can begin.

The building surveyor inspects the building project at different stages of work.

6. Building surveyor issues an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection

Once the building project is complete, the building surveyor will issue an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection.

Occupancy permit

A building permit states whether you need an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection. Building work for a new home including units or apartments always needs an occupancy permit.

Your building surveyor issues an occupancy permit when your building is considered suitable for occupation.

Certificate of final inspection

Your building surveyor issues a certificate of final inspection for extensions or alterations to existing homes and for garages, fences and outbuildings.

Extensions and alterations do not need an occupancy permit.

Alternative solutions

Most building permit assessments use the 'deemed to satisfy' provision, however, a building surveyor may also use the 'alternative solution' process.

Council helps building permit applicants prepare submissions for alternative solutions that satisfy the Building Code of Australia and can tell you if you need an alternative solution.