There is so much to consider when you start planning a house renovation. Do you know what approvals are required before you can start renovating? What type of inspections are required before, during and after the renovation is completed?
Depending on the scope of the work, you'll need to apply to your local council and get a DA approval. This can take some time, and you only need to go through this process for large construction works. Otherwise, no approval is needed. If you live in a strata titled complex, for external works you'll need to seek permission of the body corporate.
I am having a loft conversion/extension and the approvals we needed to get was a long and drawn out process We live in a conservation area, so things were even more restricted. We needed planning permission, building permission, and all sorts. It just takes one finickity council member to put a spanner in the works, disapprove of some minor aspect, and your entire schedule and building plan is set entirely off kilter, meaning about another six weeks before you can start work, while the changes go through regs again.
To help with the renovating process, Citywide Building Consultants can help with building inspections, pool inspections, etc to ensure trades comply with design documents. Their assessments and inspections cover materials, workmanship, safety, maintenance issues, renovations and compliance with Australian Standards and the Building Code of Australia. http://www.citywidebuilding.com.au/
All renovation work must comply with the Building Code of Australia. A good rule of thumb is if you are intending to change the shape or structure of the house, then approval from your local council is needed. So if you are replacing your windows, you don't need approval, but if you are making the windows bigger, then you will need approval because you are changing the structure. Also if you are changing the intended use of a part of your house, then approval is generally required - for example, replacing the roller door on an integral garage with patio doors, to create a rumpus room. If the renovation work is to be completed by a builder, then he or she can submit the plans for approval. It gets a bit trickier, if you are planning DIY renovations, but most councils have a lot of information online. After the work is approved, council inspections will be take place during construction, to ensure building, electrical and plumbing work is compliant.