A building development approval (or building permit) is needed before construction can start on most types of domestic building work. Engage a private certifier, licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, for applications for building approval (certification). The building approval sets out the mandatory inspections required at various stages in the construction process.

Building certifiers manage the building approval and inspection process with all relevant practitioners. This helps ensure that all aspects of the building work comply with the Building Act 1975. They can also advise whether a building approval is needed, as some minor building work may not require an approval (i.e. accepted development). Some aspects of domestic building work — such as maximum height, setback or character of a building — may be controlled under our Planning Scheme. In that case, a planning permit is required from the local government.

Building certifiers must not design the building or carry out any of the work. All building certifiers must be licensed with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

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The owner is responsible for ensuring building approval has been issued and any mandatory inspections have been completed.

The contractor and owner share the responsibility for ensuring building work meets an acceptable standard of quality and finish. Some owners may engage an architect or designer to supervise these aspects of the work.

The building contractor has statutory and contractual obligations for the approval and inspection process. Some builders offer a complete design, approval and construction package. If the builder is to arrange the building approval and inspections, those details should be in a contract.

The builder must comply with any legal requirement relating to the building work on behalf of the owner. Under the building contract, the builder must rectify any building work that doesn’t comply with the building legislation.

The party responsible for the cost of rectifying the work depends on the reason for the mistake. More than one party may be responsible for costs.