Building and Renovating

Renovating your home can be a daunting process if you don't know which steps to take. Before you begin, it's important to read and consider the helpful information below.

Do I need a building permit?

Most types of building works require a building permit. A building permit is provided by a private building certifier who will assess your proposed project and determine if it meets the standards. They use the current safety, health, amenity and sustainability standards in the Building Code of Australia, and any applicable legislation to do this.

As well as a building permit, you may need planning approval from Council, depending on what sort of development you are proposing. If you do require planning approval, your private building certifier may not be able to issue your building permit until you receive the approval from Council. For more information on planning approvals, access the Planning Approval page, or use the 'Search my Property' function in ePlanning to get information on your property.

What works need a building permit?

The following are examples of work that require a building permit:

  • extensions or modifications to your existing building
  • swimming pools and spas, and their fences
  • shade sails, patios, pergolas, carports
  • shipping containers (not short-term use)
  • retaining walls greater than 1m in height
  • sheds, including lawn lockers
  • fences over 2m high
  • detached signs higher than 2m or wider than 1.2m
  • demolition or removal of a structure.

Construction in tropical cyclone region

Townsville City Council is in a tropical cyclone region. As a result, structures may require higher standards of construction and material quality. Some structures (including garden sheds and fences) that may be exempt from requirements in other regions will require a building permit.

Common building projects

We have identified a number of common queries for home renovation projects. We've provided some helpful information below to assist you in identifying whether your proposed dwelling or project will require planning approval. If your project is not on the list and you'd like to discuss any questions you might have, please contact Council to speak to us directly.