Categories of Building Work

The Building Act 2016 outlines the different categories of approval that building works in Tasmania can be divided into, depending of the level of risk associated with that work.

These risk categories determine what form and level of building approval is required.

While some building works will be considered low-risk work that an owner or a builder can undertake without approval, other works may be categorised as medium or high risk work that requires a Building or Demolition Permit.

The categories of building work are defined at a State Government level and are determined by the Director of Building Control.

Risk categories  Examples  Approval process  Who can do the work
Low risk work
  • fences
  • low decks
  • farm sheds
  • carports

No permit or approval for performing building work.

May require planning approval

Most work can be carried out by an owner. Some larger projects can be carried out only by a licensed builder without a building permit
Medium risk work (notifiable work)
  •  A detached house or unit that  does not need planning approval
  • Residential alterations or extensions
An application (Notice of Work) made to a building surveyor, for a Certificate of Likely Compliance Can be carried out by a licensed builder with regulatory oversight by a building surveyor.
Council will need to be notified that the work is taking place but doesn't need to give approval.
High risk work (Permit work)
  •  Commercial, industrial or public buildings, residential buildings that need a planning permit
  • Owner builder work
  • Most works in Hazardous areas
An application to council for a Building Permit Will still need to go through a full building approval process with the council.


Table Source - Consumer Building & Occupational Licencing (Justice Department, 2017)

Click to view the full Director’s Determinations – Categories of Building & Demolition Work (external site).

A summary of the categories is as follows:

  • Category 1 – Low risk work that can be undertaken by an owner.     
  • Category 2 – Low risk work that can be undertaken by a licenced builder.
  • Category 3 – Notifiable building work or notifiable demolition work.
  • Category 4 – Building and demolition work that requires a building or demolition permit. 

Before you do any building or demolition work, it is recommended that you first refer to these categories or consult with a private building surveyor or the Council to discuss any approvals that may be required for your work.