Building or renovating a house – An Overview


When Building or Renovating, there are many tasks that need to be carried out, approvals to be sought, plans to be prepared, and finally builders to be engaged and construction carried out.

In general, if you are thinking of Building a New Home or Renovating your existing house, you will need to carry out most of the following tasks:

  1. Engage a draftsman or architect to prepare plans for your new house or renovation.
  2. Submit plans to your Local Council showing what you are intending to do.
  3. Obtain Development Approval (a “DA”) from your local Council in relation to your development.
  4. Obtain any other approvals needed for your area (ie, Hunter Water, Mine Subsidence, etc)
  5. Pay Council and other Fees required.
  6. Engage a Structural Engineer to prepare details for such things as footings, retaining walls, beams, and frames.
  7. Apply for a Construction Certificate (a “CC”) from either your Local Council or a Private Certifier to allow construction to commence.
  8. Obtain quotes from Builders for the proposed works.
  9. Select a Builder to carry out the works, or if you are confident in managing trades-people you can obtain your Owner Builders Licence and build it yourself.

You should seek advice from your Architect or Drafts Person on the best way to proceed, whether you owner-build or engage a builder. Generally, Owner Building is seen as being less expensive than engaging a Licensed Builder, as you do not pay for the builders mark-up on trades and materials. However, depending on how confident you are of managing a building project, it can take longer and end up being more expensive than if you had engaged a builder.

Structural Engineers can also provide advice during the initial stages. Sometimes your architect or drafts person will use an Engineer regularly that they will discuss various aspects of your design with. Sometimes they leave the structural aspects of the building to the Builder to sort out.

If you are going to get quotes from Multiple builders, then to receive competitive, accurate quotes you will need to provide the builder with as much information as possible, including Structural Engineers details.

Paul Clarke and Associates can provide advice and designs on all aspects of your development, and work regularly with builders, architects, and Draftspeople to assist in preparing plans for your development. For more information please contact our office on (02) 4988 6111, or via email at (or via the link on this website)