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Retrospective Building Approvals

Servicing Cairns To Townsville, Western QLD To Mt Isa & Torres Strait

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Retrospective Approvals

How do you know if a building on your property has been approved? Before buying a property, your legal advisor should be able to provide you with a list of approved structures on your potential purchase. Council will be able to provide you with a report of approved buildings on your property for a small fee or some may receive a letter from council about an illegal structure on their property. In most circumstances, All Construction Approvals will be able to assist you in obtaining a building approval.

Who can we help?

What do you do when you build something and didn’t realise it needed a building approval or if you move into a property and find out the building approval was never received? We can assist you.

  • Commercial Builders
  • Developers
  • Architects
  • Pool Builders
  • Home Builders
  • Owner Builders

How can we help?

We are able to help you with retrospective building approvals as long as they are in Queensland and you have all of the supporting documents and certificates to verify the stage inspections were carried out as the job progressed through the approval process.

Retrospective building approvals most commonly occur when selling a property and a solicitor carries out a property search. All Construction Approvals can assist you with rectifying them as long as you have the correct supporting documentation such as Form 16s for stage inspections along the way. We will still need to see all of the Form 16s from the contractors along the way, as well and they will need to be provided at time of the final inspection as per usual.

Do you need a retrospective building approval on a property you are trying to buy or sell? We can offer a free phone consultation to help get you started.

The Process

Before building any structure, it is best practice to consult a building certifier. They will be able to tell you if you need a building approval or not. In most cases, in Queensland, if the building has a roof, it needs a building approval. Once you find out you have an illegal structure on your property via your solicitor or council, contact us.

We will need a set of plans, a form 15 from an engineer, information on the structure and if any inspections have been carried out, a Form 16 from the council or certifier would be best to prove each stage that has been inspected was built to code. If you do not have this information, the process can be more challenging.

The best place to start is to gather all of the information you have and call our office. We will arrange for one of the certifiers to look through the documentation you have and formulate a plan of action to obtain a building approval.

Choose the right company

The ACA team are here to help. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to rectifying retrospective approvals. In most cases we will be able to assist you.

When it comes to approvals that have lapsed that were previously at another certifier as long as the certifier did the right thing and sent the application to council, we should be able to track down the necessary documents and move-on from there. Please note, there is a fee from council when obtaining your records.

Experience Matters

With over 20 years of building approval experience, we are the most equipped to help you through the stressful process of obtaining a retrospective building approval. With our personalised, reliable and consistent service and long-standing industry relationships, you are sure to notice the ACA difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do files lapse?

Due to the Building Code of Australia and Queensland Development Code having regular changes, building approvals only last for a limited amount of time so we are able to keep these regulations in place as they change.

How long does a building approval last?

Most building approvals are good for two-years from the date of issue. Swimming pools must be checked within six months from the date of issue. Demolition approvals are good for one-year.

What if I have a development approval (DA), as well? Does that lapse with the building approval?

If you had a siting variation or code assessment, most of these last for two years. Most councils are happy to move forward with your DA as long as you have an active building approval in place. Once the building approval lapses you may need to apply for a new siting variation or code assessment, as well. Because the approval is retrospective, you will most likely have to reapply.

What do I do if my house building approval was never finalised?

If you want to proceed you will need to contact a certifier. From there, we can send you a new DA form 2 and engagement form. We will then have to assess your building approval and we will let you know if we need any further information or documentation. Please note, if you are up to the frame stage, for example, of your house, you will need proof that the slab and bond beam stage inspections have been carried out. These are usually provided to you in the form of a Form 16 inspection certificate. Our certifiers can assist you if you do not have this documentation, but there will be more fees and time involved in rectifying the approval.

How do I find out if there is an illegal structure on my property?

A property search through council will be able to provide you with a list of approved structures on the property you are looking to buy or sell. Please note, there is a fee for this service from council.


Thank you All Construction Approvals. Great service organising and coordinating and inspecting my project. You made it so easy. Would highly recommend all your helpful staff.

Suzan Quigg

Helpful when I needed guidance with my carport project and super quick when it came to approve it. Their fees also favourable, compared to competition. Very satisfied.

Joao Filipe Castro Santos

I have worked with ACApprovals professionally on a number of building projects for close to 10 years. ACA have always provided competitive fees, prompt/fair assessments, delivered information clearly to the design and construction team for smooth delivery of projects.

Paul Malone

The team a ACA are always helpful. no question is silly and the advice given is honest and accurate regardless of if its retrospective works or for the future. If you are not sure on the requirements pick up your phone and talk to a friendly building certifier.

Mark Leitner

All Construction Approvals provided excellent service following up on the paperwork and inspecting the building to confirm the renovation was completed in accordance with the Cairns Council's standards. Thanks Kim, Ethan and the ACA team.

Steve Willis

Every process runs smoothly and is dealt with in a highly professional manner. Even quick advice over the phone never seems to be too much of a hassle and is highly appreciated!

TinaCardinal Roofing and Sheds

I would not go to anyone else for the professional high level of service you firm provides. Your staff are highly efficient and knowledgeable and go out of their way to provide excellent service. Well done to all of you and don't change anything it all works well.

Terry PlosPlos Constructions Pty Ltd

About All Construction Approvals

All Construction Approvals (ACA) is a privately owned company formed in 2001 by Harald Weber. ACA was created in response to market demand for a personalised, reliable and consistent service in relation to building certification and consultancy work.

Our goal is to provide the highest level of professional service in building regulation and control. We offer innovative, cost effective, quality outcomes to ensure building compliance and project success.

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Call 07 4054 4588