If you’re building or renovating as a landowner in Canberra, you need to appoint a building certifier. A building certifier will help you get building approval. They’ll inspect your building works as they progress. They’ll check that all laws and building codes are met. This includes the Building Code of Australia. Your building certifier will issue a certificate of completion when your project is finished.
In the ACT, building certifiers must be independent. They must also be unbiased. This means they can’t have a legal, financial or personal interest in the land or your project.
You can choose and appoint your own building certifier. If you prefer, you can authorise someone else, like your builder, to do this on your behalf. Either way, it’s your responsibility to make sure a building certifier is appointed.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a building certifier, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great building certifier?
The right building certifier can give you confidence that your building is properly certified.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a building certifier.
- Licences and professional memberships. Your building certifier needs to have a building surveyor licence for your type of building. Some can certify any type of buildings. Others can only certify some types of buildings. Ask if your building certifier belongs to a professional body like the Master Builders Association or Housing Industry Association.
- Local knowledge. Building approval and certification is complex and must meet ACT Government regulations. To avoid delays, work with a local building certifier who understands local laws.
- Independence. Your building certifier can’t have financial, legal or personal interest in your building work. This means they can’t have a commercial or financial relationship with you or your builder.
- Organised and punctual. Delays in building approvals and certification are annoying. To avoid this, look for a building certifier who is organised and will get your job done on time.
- Value-for-money. Building certifiers determine their own fees in the ACT. You’ll also want to check what your building certifier’s fee includes. As an example, does it include collecting mandatory ACT Government fees on your behalf (these could also be included in your payment to the builder as part of your building contract)?
The best building certifiers in Canberra
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Heritage Building Certification is run by David Millar, a building surveyor and building code consultant with more than 22 years’ experience in the industry. David provides building certification services in the ACT and NSW, including for high and low-rise residential buildings, health and public buildings, commercial buildings and industrial buildings. David provides informed advice, prompt and professional service and a seamless application process.
Jason Fulton wrote on Google, “David is great to deal with and very knowledgeable.”
AusCert Building Certifiers specialises in building approvals and certification. Its qualified team is experienced in small residential projects through to large commercial work. AusCert provides consulting services and advice, collates building approval documents, conducts building work inspections, secures development and building approvals and existing work approvals.
On Google, David Nott wrote, “Steve is one of the best certifiers in the business. I have used him for all sorts of projects including my personal home and my recent development of 50 townhouses.”
Capital Certifiers is a Canberra-based building certification company. It helps clients navigate getting building approvals in the ACT and surrounding NSW. Capital Certifiers provides services across the entire construction process. This includes compliance with the Building Code of Australia. It also includes dealing with legislative requirements, development and building approval exemptions, unit title assessments and disabled access requirements.
On Google, Sales First Sheds wrote, “Building certification is such a crucial part of a project which is why we exclusively recommend Capital Certifiers.”
If you’re looking for more information on building and renovating in Canberra, you might like our articles on the best residential building inspection companies, the best building managers, and the best pest inspection companies Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with building certifiers in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the building certification companies listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I do my own building certification?
No you can’t. In the ACT you must appoint a building certifier. A building certifier will help you get building approval. They must have a surveyors licence for your type of building.
What do building certifiers do?
Building certifiers inspect building works as they progress. They make sure all laws and building codes are met before they issue a certificate.
Can my builder organise my building certifier?
Yes, but only if you appoint them to do so. You can choose and appoint your own building certifier, or you can authorise someone else, like your builder, to do this on your behalf. Either way, it’s your responsibility to make sure a building certifier is appointed.
Why do I need a building certifier?
You need a building certifier to protect yourself and the public by making sure your building or project meets all laws and building codes.
How much do building certifiers cost?
In the ACT, building certifiers determine their own fees. Check around for what different certifiers charge and what they include in their fees. This will give you an idea of the market and enable you to compare quotes for value-for-money.