October 24, 2016

Do I Really Need To Get A Permit When Undertaking Office Fitouts?

Article by Will Sedgwick

If your workplace no longer meets your needs, you might consider undertaking an office fitout over relocating premises entirely. This enables you to alter the space so that it meets your needs, negating the hassle of finding another office and moving everything in. One question that many people ask prior to a fitout is whether they need a permit. In short, the answer is probably yes.

When do I generally need a permit?
If the works include building or relocating partitions, you will most likely need a building permit. This is because the changes may affect existing fire services, air conditioning and the emergency egress of the building – you may need to make changes to these systems in order to accommodate the new layout.

There have also been quite a few changes made to the building code over the last few decades, particularly in relation to disabled access. You need to ensure that all your doorways and corridors are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and that there is suitable access to critical areas of the office. If you don’t already have one, you may also be required to add a disabled toilet.

Other situations that often require permits include: changing the existing shop front, attaching signage to the building, and putting outdoor seating or heaters on the footpath. If you aren’t sure whether your intended works require a permit or not, it’s always best that you contact your local council for clarification.

How do I go about obtaining a permit?
To obtain a permit for the works, an application needs to be filled out and submitted to the building surveyor. The application will need to include all relevant drawings. The building surveyor will review the application and will either grant the permit, ask for further information or ask for changes to be made. Once he is happy, the permit will be granted.

As there is so much uncertainty around the need to obtain permits for office fitouts, it is highly recommended that you employ the services of a professional refurbishment company. Not only will they be able to help you navigate all the ins and outs, they’ll actually be able to obtain permits on your behalf. The team at Zircon Interiors is more than happy to help and answer your questions.

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