How to choose a Building Surveyor

Under new changes to the Victorian Building Act, you ht home owner are now required to choose your Building Surveyor…NOT the Builder. 

What do they do?

A Building Surveyor is a registered building professional who is responsible for ensuring the construction project meets the minimum standards set out in the building code of Australia, national standards, and relevant state and council regulations.

They work with architect’s, draftspeople, engineers, and other designers to assess and approved plans. They are responsible for issuing the building permit and inspecting the construction to ensure it is built against the approved plans. They may appoint a registered building inspector to conduct these inspections on their behalf. If there are any risk at site or if a building works does not comply with the approved plans a building surveyor may issue building notices or orders as a means of enforcement.

Once a project is complete the building surveyor issues an occupancy permit/certificate of final.

Why do I need one?

It is mandatory to have a building permit for all structural works, including decks, pergolas and some fences. Also and for any project that is over $16,000. Once a building surveyor has been appointed by you they remain for the life of the project.

The building surveyor is appointed by you and not the builder, it is their job to ensure the construction is with all relevant regulations.

How many Inspections?

Mandatory inspections are required for:

  1. Pre- Footing, such as stump holes, piling preparation, excavations
  2. Pre- Slab, the steel reinforcement an levels must be inspected prior to the concrete being poured
  3. Frame, must be inspection once completed but prior to cladding
  4. If applicable swimming pool and spa safety barriers
  5. Final Inspection on completion of all works, this may include site works, fire safety & drainage

These may be conducted by the building surveyor or by one of their appointed building inspectors.

A copy of approved stamped plans including truss computations must be kept on site at all times and may be called upon by the building inspector.

How much will it cost?

The cost will vary depending on the size, value and intricacy of your project.

Small projects starting at around $1,000 with up to several thousand for a standard home.

In addition state governments also charge a levy as part of the building permit fee. On a new home of $250,000 in Victoria this levy would be approximately $320