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5 Steps to outline the process of obtaining a building approval in Queensland

The Building Approval Process: 5 Simple Steps

What is the process for obtaining a building permit in Queensland and what are the steps involved? How long does a building approval take?

Read on for the 5 simple steps to get your building permit in Queensland.

Step 1. Discuss your proposal with a building designer or architect and obtain concept drawings.

This first step helps you work out whether your proposal is realistic and develops the concepts you have onto paper. If you are not sure who to use, just contact us and we’ll provide some recommendations. If your proposal is a simple shed or patio you may wish to draw your own site plan using Google Maps.

Step 2. Send your drawings to your certifier for initial review and pricing

During this step, your building certifier will undertake an initial check to confirm whether a Siting Dispensation, or other Town Planning approval is required. Any obvious compliance issues can be addressed during this phase. Your certifier should provide an itemised quote explaining exactly what they are providing, what further information is required and what fees apply.

Step 3. Engage your Certifier – who will obtain necessary town planning consents from your local council

Once you have signed the fee acceptance, your certifier is required by law to notify your Local Council and owner that they are formally engaged. If necessary, your certifier will prepare the forms and reports to justify the approval of your project. Once council approval is obtained you will be notified.

Step 4. Finalise working drawings and engage a structural engineer to certify and issue Form 15

Once the overall concept or reduced setbacks are approved by Council, you can instruct your building designer or architect to complete the working drawings. (In order to save time, you may wish to action this step concurrently with step 3). Note some structural engineers have an in-house design team which may make this step more efficient.

Step 5. Send all final documentation to your certifier for final approval

Once all documentation is received, your certifier will review and check that the design complies with the National Construction Code, Queensland Development Code and applicable Australian Standards. Once the project is approved, you will receive a copy of the decision notice, conditions of approval and approved stamped drawings.

These will be sent to your local council by your certifier for recording.


Your approval can be obtained within 24 hours provide all the paperwork is in order and no siting dispensations or separate town planning consent is required.

Where siting dispensations are required an additional 14 days* should be allowed for as a minimum.

If separate town planning consent is required, this may take 35 working days*

*These times may vary depending on the Council involved and their service level agreement. Your Certifier will advise at  the time of application the approximate timeline.

Code of conduct

All Certifiers must adhere to a Code of Conduct.

Read more on the role of Building Certifiers