Materials? Check. Blueprints? Check. A qualified and fully licensed Templestowe plumber? Oh, you can bet that’s ticked off!
Yes, it seems like everything’s in order and it’s time to start work on your plumbing renovation.
Well, almost everything… have you gotten the appropriate permits yet? Do you even need permits?
The importance of permits in your plumbing renovation or improvement
We know what you’re thinking: you’re not building anything – why do you need a permit if all the work is going to be internal?
Before we explain that though, we need to explain the two common types of permits:
- Planning permits
- Building permits
Planning permits are permits obtained by the council that certify that your building or renovation plan won’t adversely affect your community.
That can include things like:
- Blocking sightlines
- Causing excessive congestion
- Infringing on neighbours’ privacy
This is probably what you’re thinking of when you think “permit”.
Naturally, since the vast majority of plumbing renovations are entirely internal, most don’t require plumbing permits
But what about building permits?
Now, that’s an entirely different story!
Building permits certify that the work being carried out is compliant with Australian standards and building regulations. In particular, it certifies that your plan:
- Is structurally sound
- Uses appropriate materials
- Adheres to building codes
- Is being carried out by a licensed professional
As you can imagine, many bigger plumbing renovations will require a building permit!
What types of plumbing renovation require a permit?
According to Manningham city council (where H2-Pro’s plumbers in Templestowe), building permits are required for “all building works”, with the exception of some “minor works”.
We know: it doesn’t tell you much.
Luckily, H2-Pro’s team of local plumbers, having worked and lived in this area for decades, can give you a couple pointers as to whether or not your plumbing renovation needs a permit.
As a general rule of thumb, it all depends on whether or not the plumbing work in question has the potential to affect:
- Property structure
- Safety of your family and others
In short, that means something like replacing an old toilet or getting new cabinets probably won’t need a permit!
Some examples of plumbing renovations that do require a building permit include…
1) Work that may affect water utilities
As plumbers, our work often sees us performing working in close proximity to water utilities such as sewers and stormwater drains – it’s just part of the job!
That includes plumbing work for many home renovations and extensions.
Maybe the owner of an old home would also like to bring their plumbing into the 21st century. Alternatively, they might request that all their existing pipes and connections be dug up and done over again.
If this work brings us into close contact with water utilities however, we’ll have to get a planning permit first.
Melbourne Water specifically states that any plumbing work (or building work in general) that’s near water mains, pipes and drains will first require a planning permit to evaluate whether the work may affect utilities.
2) Extending or adding a bathroom
As an empty-nester, you now have an extra room (or two, or three) just lying around – why not contact a Templestowe plumber to extend your bathroom, now that you have the space?
Or better yet, repurpose one of your spare rooms into a second bathroom, complete with Jacuzzi?
Of course, this is a big job.
It may involve cutting open walls and floors to install new pipes, and possibly even call for entire walls to be knocked down (in the case of converting an existing room).
Even something relatively simple like adding a window or sunlight will require a permit!
3) Converting your kitchen to open-plan
Open-plan kitchens and living areas are en vogue right now. And honestly, we’re not surprised:
- Larger-feeling houses
- A line of sight into your living area from the kitchen
- Less cramped kitchen areas
- The ability to see the telly while cooking
These are just some of the reasons open-plan is a popular trend we don’t see fading any time soon.
Of course, going from separate rooms to an open-plan kitchen often requires knocking down walls – some of which may be load-bearing. If you’re keen to go open-plan, you’ll need to apply for a permit first.
4) Rainwater tanks
In the vast majority of cases, rainwater tank installation won’t require a building permit, as the vast majority of rainwater tanks are freestanding.
However, not all of them are:
- Exception #1: rainwater tanks on roofs
- Exception #2: rainwater tanks that are supported by an existing wall
According to the VBA, both of these exceptions will require a building permit, as both are being supported by an existing structure.
Whether it’s a roof or wall, it’ll need to be able to hold the extra weight of a rainwater tank.
It might not sound like much, until you remember that water is heavy – one square metre of water weighs a literal tonne!
5) Swimming pools and outdoor spas
We know we said before that if a plumbing renovation requires a permit, then generally speaking it will be a building permit.
However, that isn’t always the case!
For an example, look no further than an outdoor spa or swimming pool.
In addition to certifying that pumps, spa jets and supply pipes are up-to-scratch, a new pool or outdoor spa will also require a building permit to certify that appropriate barriers are in place.
That’s because the VBA mandates that all pools and spas must be surrounded with a barrier that’s at least 1.2 metres tall.
A building permit is required here not because the council is worried about the fence being dodgy (though that’s certainly a factor) – rather, it’s to certify that the barrier is the right height, and that a child can’t easily slip through.
Call a local Templestowe plumber and make sure you’re covered!
We’ll sort out your permits for you
Unlike other plumbers, we’re strictly local. We live here, do our shopping here, and our kids go to school in the area. Needless to say, we’re intimately familiar with the local community.
What’s more, with 20 years of experience working exclusively in the Manningham area, we also understand the permit process inside-out.
We’ll be able to tell you if your plumbing project requires a permit, and help you ensure you get the best chance of council approval.
In addition to sorting out permits for you, our Templestowe plumbers also guarantee that the work will be done to the highest possible standards.
Unlike other plumbers, our team don’t just fix leaky taps and unblock drains (though we certainly do that too!)
H2-Pro offers a wide range of plumbing services, and that includes countless home plumbing improvements and renovations (including many of the jobs listed above).
If it involves water and piping, there’s a good chance we’ve worked on it before!
Call (03) 9844 1444 for a truly local plumber who knows your neighbourhood (and its laws) inside-out.
Alternatively, click here to get in touch online.