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

Comments 4

  1. My brother was talking about getting some site analysis done for their home that’s under construction, and I had no idea what he was talking about. I’m glad that I was able to figure out that a building surveyor is someone who does site analysis, and I’m glad that you mentioned that they work with a lot of people to assess and approve plans. I’m going to have to make sure that my brother finds someone who is really good at site analysis so that he can be sure his home will be all that he wants it to be!

  2. The company I work for has been thinking about looking for a surveyor to look at the new building we are going to move into. So thank you for mentioning that it is actually mandatory for buildings to have a permit that says everything is structurally sound. I’ll be sure to let my company know they need to hire a surveyor (since the builder themselves isn’t in charge of it) to make sure we get that permit.

  3. It really helped when you mentioned how a building surveyor is responsible for making sure the building meets the minimum standards set by the area where you are. I can understand that taking the time to choose the best surveyor you can will allow you to have a safe structure where you can be comfortable. My sister and her husband are planning on getting their house build and wanted to find the best surveyor to help with planning, so I’m glad I found your post.

    1. Hi Mar, great to hear that you found our post so helpful! We continually post articles about the industry so be sure to come back soon to our site!

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