Specialists and what they do

person writing up reports

This is general advice and may not apply specifically to your property. For more detailed information on your personal circumstances please contact the Rebuilding Planning Team on 9294 6594.

Don’t underestimate the effort required to project manage a build yourself. It’s a big job.

At a minimum, you will need a registered builder or be an approved owner builder.

You will also need to appoint a registered building surveyor who will ensure that key stages of the rebuild are inspected at appropriate times and meet standards, and registered plumbers and electricians to complete and certify works (these can be subcontracted by the builder). 

Registered building practitioner

If you are rebuilding a house, you’ll need to use a registered building practitioner if the value of the work is more than $10,000. You can check if a building practitioner or company is registered on the Victorian Building Authority’s website.

Many architects and building designers have developed a range of built dwellings that are designed for all BAL types, and many builders now have experience in construction methods and outcomes required in bushfire resilient construction.

You engage your builder using a building contract. We recommend you visit Consumer Affairs Victoria for information in relation to building, builders, quotations, contracts and consumer protection. You should be aware of your rights and obligations.

Alternatively, you may wish to carry out the domestic building work as an owner-builder, where you will be responsible for carrying out the work on your own land. If the value of the domestic building work you will be doing is over $16,000, you will need to obtain a certificate of consent from the Victorian Building Authority to be an owner-builder.

A registered building surveyor

Building surveyors must be appointed by the property owner or their agent. They issue building permits and by law is required to act to ensure any building works meet the requirements of the National Construction Code and other laws.

The role of the building surveyor is to ensure that your building is being built correctly. Building surveyors are professionals trained in understanding the building process. They are responsible for issuing building permits, carrying out mandatory inspections during the build process and having the authority to take enforcement action to ensure building work complies with regulatory requirements and standards.

You will need to appoint a building surveyor for any project that requires a building permit. So the surveying process remains independent, the builder can't appoint the building surveyor.

In your building permit, your building surveyor will:

  • Specify the mandatory inspections that will be required throughout the course of the building work
  • provide certificate of a final inspection and certificate of occupancy on completion of the building work.

A registered building surveyor is authorised to:

  • assess building permit applications for compliance with laws and construction codes
  • issue building and occupancy permits, and certificates of final inspection
  • conduct building inspections at the mandatory notification stages
  • give directions to fix non-compliant building work
  • serve building notices and orders.

A qualified architect or building designer

These experts bring practical design skills to create plans for a site or dwelling that optimise sustainability, comfort and resilience to hazards. They can also act as a project manager to manage an overall building project.

Engineering advice

Specialist advice and soil testing may be required, particularly in steep or complex sites, to inform the design of footings for a building or the capability of land to absorb effluent on site. Some engineers may include:

  • Geotechnical engineer
  • Structural engineer

Fire consultants

Fire consultants can provide assessment of likely bushfire risk, undertake Bushfire Attack Level assessments, inform your siting and design choices, and give specialist advice in relation to bushfire bunkers and roof sprinkler systems.

A registered plumber or electrician

Engaged as part of a total rebuild or to repair and re-establish plumbing or electrical system on a property.