PREPARING PLANS

One of the most important aspects of building, extending or renovating your home is the design. Take the time to look at designs, visit displays and exhibitions and find out the planning codes that apply in your area. It is often helpful to discuss your proposals in the early stages with controlling authority's technical staff, particularly if you are unsure whether your proposal meets the appropriate requirements. Special rules apply for heritage properties.

If you own a home in a heritage listed area you may be able to access a specialist body or employ an architect who specializes in heritage buildings. This will assist people wishing to renovate or extend their heritage house, and will also assist those concerned about potential problems associated with undertaking building work in heritage areas.

An important consideration that is often overlooked is that the design you chose should suit your particular block. This includes considering the shape of the block, whether the block is flat or on a slope, where north is, whether there is a predominant style in the area, whether your block is in an historic area or whether there are particular views you want to take advantage of. You should also be aware that tree protection laws may protect existing trees on private land and prevent their unapproved removal. You will need to apply to remove or lop a tree, if it is any tree (native eucalypt or exotic) within a prescribed height and size range.