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Do Bathroom Renovations Need Council Approval? - bathroomrenovationspecialists.com.au

When it comes to bathroom renovations, the need for council approval depends on the specific type of renovation. If the renovation involves altering the structure of the building, such as removing walls or creating new rooms, building consent is required. This is because any changes to the structural design can affect the building’s overall stability.

Additionally, if the renovation involves redesigning the plumbing system, obtaining a building permit is necessary. Minor changes to fixtures and sanitary fittings may not require council approval, but it is always recommended to consult with the council to confirm if consent is needed.

It is important to ensure compliance with building codes and regulations and to understand the specific requirements for your renovation project.

How To Get Council Approval For Bathroom Renovation

Before starting a bathroom renovation project, it is important to understand the council approval process. Each council has its own policies, procedures, and charges, so it is crucial to get in touch with the local council to obtain the necessary information.

1. Contact the Local Council

The first step is to get in touch with the local council and confirm their specific requirements for obtaining council approval. They will provide information about the process, applicable fees, and any necessary paperwork.

2. Design the Renovation Plan

Hire a professional architect or building designer to create a detailed plan for your bathroom renovation project. This plan should include all the changes you intend to make, ensuring compliance with the building code of Australia.

3. Engage a Building Certifier

A building certifier is responsible for reviewing and approving your renovation plans. They will ensure that the proposed changes meet the necessary building requirements and regulations. It is important to engage a certified professional to carry out this task.

4. Appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

The PCA is a person or entity in charge of overseeing the construction process and ensuring compliance with the approved plans. In some cases, this can be the same building certifier who evaluated your plans. The PCA will issue an Occupation Certificate once the construction is completed, indicating that the work has been done in accordance with the approved plans.

Obtaining council approval for a bathroom renovation is essential to ensure that the project meets the required standards and regulations. By following the necessary steps and working with professionals, you can successfully navigate the council approval process and enjoy your bathroom renovations.

Tips For A Hassle-free Council Approval

When it comes to bathroom renovations, obtaining council approval can be a complex process. To make the approval process as smooth as possible, consider the following tips:

1. Have Exact Data for the Council

To streamline the assessment of your application, provide the council with accurate and detailed information. This includes specifications for fixtures, materials, and any structural modifications. The more precise and comprehensive your data, the easier it will be for the council to evaluate your proposal.

2. Maintain Constant Communication

Effective communication is key when dealing with council requirements. Stay in touch with the council throughout the documentation preparation and submission process. Be proactive in checking if any modifications are needed to your plans. Avoid relying on word-of-mouth advice and opinions from friends, neighbors, or inexperienced renovators.

3. Contact the Right Experts

Engage qualified tradespeople and designers to create plans and drawings for your proposed renovation. Demonstrating that you are working with professionals experienced in property management and construction will instill trust in the council. Present clear and easy-to-read documents to assist the council in their decision-making process.

4. Avoid Changing Approved Plans

Once your renovation plans have been approved by the council, it is advisable not to make changes unless absolutely necessary. Modifications to approved plans can significantly delay the approval process. Additionally, make sure to begin the renovation work within the specified period outlined in the approval, as the approval may expire if work does not commence on time.

By following these tips, you can increase the likelihood of a hassle-free council approval for your bathroom renovation project. Remember to be patient, communicate effectively, and seek professional guidance throughout the process.


What is complying development?

Complying development refers to renovation or construction projects that comply with specific standards set by local councils. These standards ensure that the work meets certain safety and environmental requirements without the need for a full development application or council approval.

What does the council approval process involve?

The council approval process for bathroom renovations typically requires the submission of plans and documentation detailing the proposed changes. The council will review these documents to ensure compliance with building codes and regulations. They may also inspect the renovation during and after completion to ensure it meets the approved plans.

Do you need strata approval for a bathroom renovation?

If you live in a strata property, which is a property that is jointly owned with other owners, you may need to obtain strata approval in addition to council approval for your bathroom renovation. Strata approval is necessary as it ensures that the proposed changes do not affect the structural integrity or appearance of the entire building.

Does my bathroom renovation need to be inspected?

Yes, in most cases, bathroom renovations will need to be inspected by a building certifier to ensure compliance with the Building Code of Australia. The certifier will check that the renovation meets safety standards, such as proper waterproofing and electrical regulations, before issuing an occupation certificate.


In conclusion, it is essential to consider obtaining council approval for bathroom renovations. While not all renovations require council approval, it is crucial to review local regulations and requirements before proceeding with any internal or external renovation project. Building certifiers can provide guidance on what needs council approval and ensure compliance with building codes.

Bathroom renovations involving changes to structural elements, plumbing lines, or substantial excavation will likely require building permits or council consent. Additionally, if the renovation project includes the addition of extra bathrooms, wet area showers, electrical outlets, or water heaters, council approval may be necessary.

It is important to note that strata properties may have additional requirements, such as obtaining strata approval or mustvote for certain renovations. These regulations can vary, so direct communication with the local council or strata management is crucial.