Can I use my Shed as a Dwelling

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Here is a list of things you will likely have to attend to if you wish to create a home or convert to a home from a Class 10a (shed) non habitable building. Note that some sheds can be ordered as Class 1 habitable buildings. Whilst this is the case a number of these points below still apply.

Whilst reg’s can vary from state to state and council area to council area generally they are similar and based around the Building Code of Australia. For this example we have drawn on a fact sheet from The Building Commission, Victoria.

To successfully change the use of your temporary building to a dwelling you will need to ensure that the structure meets the requirements of the Regulations and the Building Code of Australia. This will include the preparation of suitable plans of the building and a site plan, and the provision of a number of reports such as a BAL assessment, energy rating, geotechnical (soil) report and structural engineering design where required. Key construction elements that you will need to consider include:

o   Bushfire construction requirements for the site;
o   Energy efficiency requirements;
o   Structural construction requirements for footings/slab on ground (soil test
required), wall and roof framing; Slabs for dwellings have different
requirements to those used for sheds. If the shed slab does not meet the
requirements for a dwelling then it is not feasible to consider a change of use.
o   Damp proofing under concrete floors;
o   Termite protection where required;
o   Minimum ceiling heights (2.4 m for habitable rooms and 2.1 m for laundry,
bathroom, corridor and toilet);
o   Minimum window sizes (including openable portions for ventilation);
o   Required facilities for cooking, laundry, bathroom, toilet and damp proofing of
floors and walls;
o   Certificates of compliance for electrical, plumbing and glazing;
o   Septic Tank system (where required);
o   Complying steps, landings, balustrades (where required) and
o   Hard wired smoke alarms.

To read the whole fact sheet click here