Building Checklist & Guidelines

There are a number of Checklists and Guidelines for Building in the City of Kalamunda.

Checklists

Building Applications

Application for Unauthorised Structures

Guidelines

Owner Builders

Owner-builders are people who construct their own residential home or an industrial or commercial building, including additions.
To become an owner-builder, where the value of the building works exceeds $20,000, you must submit an application form along with proof of identification and pay an application fee for either a Residential Owner-Builder Statutory Declaration or an Industrial Owner-Builder Statutory Declaration to the Building Commission.  You will then need to provide evidence of being granted approval to build as an owner-builder to City, before the City can issue you with a building Permit.
Refer to the Department of Commerce’s website for further information at http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/owner-builders-responsibilities.
Download "Owner-Builder Approval & Application Guidelines"

Energy Efficiency

Building applications for residential building works, including new homes, additions to residences and some commercial structures require information relating to the energy efficiency of the building.
Checklists to assist applicants with applying for a building Permit have been prepared by the Department of Commerce and are available from their web site at: http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/energy-efficiency-residential-buildings

As part of the energy efficiency provisions, glazing and ventilation calculators have been developed by the Australian Building Codes Boards to assist applicants applying for a building approval and are available from their web site at: http://abcb.gov.au/Resources/All-Resources?types=%7bBBD8390F-884A-4FE4-BD0B-C52AF4A0989A%7d

Fencing

The erection and maintenance of dividing fences on the boundary between properties are a matter between neighbours and as such are dealt with by the Dividing Fences Act 1961 which is administered by the Department of Commerce. For more information on dividing fences please contact the Department of Commerce on 1300 489 099 or pick up a booklet from the City Administration Offices or visit the Department of Commerce web site at: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/dividing-fences-guide

If you are intending to construct a fence within the front setback of your property, then you may construct a 1.2m high fence without approval.

Any fence in excess of 1.2m high must be 50% visually permeable. Any proposed construction that is not 50% visually permeable requires approval from the City and must comply with the City of Kalamunda Fencing Local Law and the Residential Design Codes. Please refer to building’s Information Sheet 7 for further advice.

P-DEV57: Front Fence & Wall Policy

Download Booklet: Dividing Fences A Guide

View Local Laws section about Fencing

It is an offence to unilaterally remove a fence. Under the Building Act 2011 there is a $10000 penalty for removing a fence without the adjoining neighbours consent.

Smoke Alarms

Western Australia's Building Regulations 2012 require the owner of a dwelling to have compliant smoke alarms installed:

  • prior to the sale or transfer of ownership
  • where a dwelling is rented under a residential tenancy agreement or made available for such rental
  • where a dwelling is made available for hire.

To comply with regulations owners must ensure that the smoke alarm(s):

  • are in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) applicable at the time of the installation of the alarms. (The BCA specifies the relevant edition of the Australian Standard for residential smoke alarms (AS 3786) and location the smoke alarms must comply with).
  • are not more than 10 years old at the time of the transfer of ownership, or making the dwelling available for rent or hire
  • are in working order
  • are permanently connected to consumer mains power (hard-wired).

The BCA requires smoke alarms to be interconnected where there is more than one alarm. However, interconnection of smoke alarms is not applicable to a dwelling that was constructed on an application for a building permit made before 1 May 2015. The Regulations apply to the following residential buildings as classified in the BCA:

  • Class 1a – A single dwelling, being a detached house or row of houses, duplexes, town houses, terrace houses or villa units, where attached dwellings are separated by a fire resisting wall.
  • Class 1b – including the following types of dwellings:
    • boarding houses, guest houses, hostels or the like in which not more than 12 people would ordinarily be residing and with a total area of all floors not exceeding 300m²
    • four or more single dwellings located on one allotment and used for short term holiday accommodation. This includes dwellings in tourist parks, farm stays, holiday resorts, cabins in caravan parks and similar tourist accommodation.
  • Class 2 – Dwellings such as apartments and flats in a building containing two or more units.
  • Class 4 – A residential unit in a non-residential building if it is the only dwelling in the building eg. a caretaker’s residence.

Should it not be possible to install a hard wired smoke alarm for reasons of a structural nature, then an owner can apply to the City for approval to install a battery powered smoke alarm. An application form is available in the Application Forms section of this web site.

Smoke Alarm Application Form

More Information

Building Commission: http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/smoke-alarm-laws
Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES): https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/fireinthehome/Pages/smokealarms.aspx

Swimming Pools & Spas

Legislation in Western Australia requires the owner or occupier of a property with a private swimming or spa pool to install barriers around the structure. This is for the protection of young children who may enter the area with or without the knowledge or consent of the owner/occupier. Owners or occupiers are required to maintain the barrier in such a condition that it is in working order at all times.

Read more about the compliance for swimming pools and spas including removing or decommissioning here

© City of Kalamunda 2019