Handouts and FAQs


​​​​​​​​​Building Permit Drawing Requirements

An application for a building permit must be accompanied by appropriate drawings. For more information, see the Building Application Drawing Requirements.​ ​​

Conversion to Habitable use

The primary requirement for a habitable room is to ensure moisture does not enter into the structure through the floor the roof and the walls. The National Construction Code - Building Code of Australia (NCC – BCA) specifies the manner by which this can be achieved and will normally necessitate modifications and additional works to be carried out to the existing patio or enclosure. 

Most existing patios and non-habitable enclosures do not achieve many of the requirements. It is usual that major modifications are necessary to achieve the requirements of the NCC - BCA for a room to be used for habitable purposes.

For additional information, see Converting a Patio into a Habitable Room​.

Floor Level Subject to Water Level

If you are building a dwelling or other habitable building in suburbs or locations zoned as Rural or Special Rural, it may be necessary that you contact the City's Health Team and Planning Team to establish the minimum floor level based on the high water table.

Generally the floor level should be not less than 2M over the high water table.

The water table may also affect the septic system which inadvertently may influence the pad height for the dwelling. Contact a Health Officer for further information regarding this matter on 9439 0200.

Hazardous Substances and Asbestos

Hazardous items around the home can be dangerous to the environment and to people. ​Please visit the waste disposal page for important safety information.

Building Applications

As a general rule, most building work​​ and certain changes of use require approval. To request a Consultation prior to lodging your application please contact Building Services building@kwinana.wa.gov.au.


A patio is a pergola with an impervious roof covering (eg. colourbond or polycarbonate sheeting).

​For more information about building a patio, see 'What is a Patio'? 


​A pergola is an open sided structure used for shading and screening, with a permeable roof cover (e.g. shade cloth, lattice or timber battens). A pergola with an impervious roof covering is considered a patio by the City of Kwinana.

When is a Building Permit required for a Pergola? ​
Any proposed unenclosed pergola that is more than 20m2 in area and/or is more than 2.4m in height will require a Building Permit

Pools, Spas and Safety Barriers

Under the Building Act 2011, a building permit is required for a swimming pool and an outdoor spa. This includes inflatable and/or portable above-ground pools.

In addition a building permit must be obtained for pool safety barriers. For more information, see Pools, Spas and Safety Barriers​.​​

Pool Inspection Program

​The City's ongoing improvement to the pool inspection program sees the introduction of a mandatory inspection prior to approving a swimming pool barrier application.

This inspection is mandatory and will be free of charge. The City will contact the property owner on receipt of a swimming pool barrier application and will arrange a suitable time to meet and discuss the proposed location of the pool barrier. 

The intent of the site inspection is to consider the proposal in the environment in which it will be installed and will eliminate any potential for a non-compliant barrier. 

The City appreciates your cooperation in implementing this initiative. 

Had enough of your pool? here are some handy hints to follow:

  • totally remove your pool if above ground; or
  • totally remove your pool and backfill if below ground and obtain a compaction certificate for the backfill; or
  • leave pool in, but make two  holes (minimum size of 1m x 1m each) one in the deep end and another in the shallow end of the pool. 

Once you have done one of the above options, contact the City's Building Department on 9439 0208 to arrange an inspection.​​​

Requirements Specific to Suburbs


Non reflective materials must be selected including your roofing material. 

Marri Park and some lots in Anketell, Wandi and Wellard

All building work must be contained within the building envelope. 

This is a special area set aside for building located within the cadastral boundaries. Other than Marri Park, Water tanks may be needed and if so needed, be located within the building envelope.

Homestead Ridge

All building work must be contained wit​hin the building envelope. This is a special area set aside for building located within the cadastral boundaries. Non reflective materials must be selected including your roofing material.

Residential Fences

A front fence includes a wall, screen, retaining wall or the like located in the front setback area of a property.

When is Council approval required?
A building permit from the City is required if the proposed front fence height exceeds 1200mm in a Residential Zone.

Please note that an application for a building permit application must be submitted:

  • if a solid front fence exceeds 1.2m in height; or 
  • if a solid front fence is more than 750mm in height and is located within 1.5m of any driveway.
For further information, see an example of front fence detail

In all instances, all fencing materials must comply with the City of Kwinana Fencing Local Law​.

It should be noted that a front fence may also be a dividing fence between different properties. In such situations, the Dividing Fences Act 1961 may apply. You may need to discuss with your neighbour regarding your proposed front fence.

The City of Kwinana does not administer the Dividing Fences Act 1961. An online brochure

Retaining Walls - Residential

Retaining walls are sometimes required to facilitate proposed ground levels on a lot.

If the proposed retaining wall is substantial, a building licence will need to be obtained from the City's Building Service prior to construction. In some instances, in addition to a building licence, a development approval may also need to be obtained from the City's Planning Service. 

Depending on the extent of the retaining works, a minor retaining wall may sometimes be constructed without the approval of the City. 

For further information, see Retaining Walls Residential Lots Information.

Shade Sails

A shade sail is a piece of permeable fabric that is fixed to timber or metal posts.

When is a Building Permit required for a Shade Sail?

Any proposed shade sail that is more than 10m2 in area and/or is more than 2.4m in height will require a Building Permit


​A Building Permit is not required if the proposed Shed is freestanding, not more than 10m2 in area and/or not more than 2.4m in height. For further information, view the information handout about sheds.

Note: A Building Permit and/or Planning Approval will be required for most proposed outbuilding/s. Please contact Building Services 9439 0472 for more information.​​

Smoke Alarms - Residential

New regulations came into effect as of the 1 ​​October 2009 that require mains powered smoke alarms to be fitted to homes that are subject to sale, lease or hire. ​​

For more information, see Smoke Alarms - Residential​ or the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Storm Water

Storm water/surface water resulting from a storm having an average recurrence interval of 20 years is required to be contained within the subject site. Storm water must be disposed of in a way that avoids the likelihood of damage or nuisance to another property. 

​For more information, see Storm Water​​ and Storm Water Runoff Requirements​.


Termites occur naturally throughout Australia and there are many species. Only a few species pose a major threat to buildings because they eat wood and other materials containing cellulose plant fibre. If left unchecked, they can destroy both the strength and appearance of timbers in buildings. 

Because the termite nest is often beneath the soil surface, entry into a building can go unnoticed as severe structural damage may take a long time to become visible. If termites are discovered on your property there is no need to panic but there is a need for further investigation by a registered pest control operator. The Building Code of Australia stipulates that all new buildings require some form of protection from termite entry.

For more information, see Treatment Against Entry of Termites.

Water Tanks

A rainwater tank does not require a building permit provided that the tank is a small proprietary type of steel or fibre glass tank with a height not more than a standard fence height i.e 1.8m. Indicatively, the tank is less than 5,000 litres capacity. The location of the tank should be in the rear yard of a property a​nd not be visible from the primary or secondary streets.

The base of the tank is to be located directly on the ground or supported by a manufacture designed tank stand not exceeding 300mm in height. For all other situations a building permit would need to be obtained prior to installation.​

Building Work includes, but not limited to the removal of internal walls, the installation of fittings, the replacement of windows and doors containing glazing, constructing rooms in roof spaces and the construction of garages and extensions.

Page reviewed: 27 Mar 2020 4:46pm