Building Notice vs. Building Permit: Understanding the Distinctions


If you’re looking to upskill and advance your career, you’re probably familiar with the various permits and notices that come into play during the construction process. Today, we’re going to shed light on an important topic: the difference between a building notice and a building permit. 

As a tradesperson studying for a Diploma or Cert IV in Building, gaining a clear understanding of these distinctions is vital to your success. At Builders Academy Australia, we’re here to provide you with valuable insights and help you navigate through the complexities of the industry. 

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the world of building notices and building permits!

What’s a building notice?

A building notice application is an alternative approach to obtaining permission for certain building works. Unlike a building permit, which requires detailed plans and documentation upfront, a building notice simplifies the process by allowing you to commence the work without formal approval. It’s like a ticket to get the show on the road, as long as you comply with the applicable regulations and guidelines.

What’s a building permit?

On the other hand, a building permit provides a comprehensive approval process for building works. It involves submitting detailed plans, specifications, and supporting documents to the relevant authorities for review and approval. Think of it as a complete package that ensures your construction project meets the required standards and regulations. With a building permit in hand, you can proceed with the construction process confidently, knowing that you have the necessary approvals.

Construction Building Permit

Some of the key differences

Whether you submit a building notice application or a building permit, both are intended to regulate construction activities. They do however have different features:

Building notice


The building notice process is relatively streamlined, requiring less paperwork compared to a building permit.


With a building notice, you can commence the work sooner since formal approval is not required. This can be beneficial for minor works or urgent repairs.

Limited documentation

A building notice doesn’t necessitate the submission of detailed plans or specifications upfront.


The primary objective of a building notice is to ensure that the proposed building works comply with relevant regulations and guidelines.

Building permit

Comprehensive documentation

A building permit requires the submission of detailed plans, specifications, and supporting documentation upfront.

Rigorous review process

The authorities carefully assess the submitted documents to ensure compliance with building codes, safety regulations, and other applicable requirements.

Formal approval

Upon successful review, a building permit provides formal approval to commence the construction process.

Long-term compliance

The objective of a building permit is to ensure that the construction work aligns with the approved plans, standards, and regulations throughout the entire project.

When do you need this?

The need for a building notice or a building permit depends on the nature and scale of your construction project. 

Here’s a general guideline:

Small scale projects

A building notice is typically suitable for smaller-scale projects or works of a non-structural nature, such as internal alterations or repairs. It is often used when speed and simplicity are key considerations.

Larger builds

For more significant construction projects involving structural alterations, new builds, or changes in building use, a building permit is essential. It ensures compliance with safety standards, building codes, and regulatory requirements.

It’s crucial to consult with your local council or building surveyor to determine which path is appropriate for your specific project. They can provide guidance on the applicable rules and regulations in your area.

Elevate your building career

When it comes to understanding the intricacies of building permits and notices, Builders Academy Australia is your go-to expert. Our industry-experienced trainers are well-versed in the regulatory landscape, ensuring that our students gain the knowledge and skills needed to navigate these processes with confidence. Trust the experts at BAA for comprehensive training and expert guidance in the world of building and construction.

As you continue your journey in the building industry, we are here to support your success. Our comprehensive training programs, including the Diploma and Cert IV in Building, equip you with the skills, knowledge, and industry connections you need to excel in your chosen field.

We understand the importance of balancing your studies with work and personal life, which is why we offer a range of study options to accommodate your needs (including online as part of our Virtual Classroom or Self-Paced).

Ready to take your building career to new heights? 

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how Builders Academy Australia can empower you to achieve your goals.