Getting Started

Knowing where to start and who to talk to can be a challenge, so we’ve put together this list of steps in the building process.

The Idea

All projects start with an idea, driven by a need or aspiration for your home. We encourage people to feel free to call us in for a chat – there’s no obligation, and we can discuss your ideas, provide some feedback and suggestions, and from looking at the style of construction you’re after, we can suggest some design professionals you can talk to in order to proceed to the next step.

The Design

By this stage, you’ll have chosen an architect or architectural draftsman whose previous buildings you like, and who you feel you can work with. Griffin Constructions can provide a design-phase consultation service, reviewing the cost and buildability of design options, offering alternatives and ideas as appropriate. This involvement results in a design that is well documented, “buildable” and can be priced with a high degree of accuracy and confidence.

The DA (Development Application)

With your final design in hand (and on disk), you then go to ACTPLA and submit a DA – this task is often handled by your designer, or us if you wish. There is a lot of information on the DA process at the ACTPLA web site:

The approval process commonly takes 6 to 9 weeks, during which we’ll be developing the construction programme and specification sheets, getting your selections approved and ordered to enable us to begin work immediately and to allow your job to run as smoothly as possible.

Building Approval

Once the DA is approved, you will require a Building Approval – at this point, you officially appoint your builder and private certifier for the project. While the certifier and builder are often familiar with each other from previous projects, it is important to remember that the certifier works on your behalf, ensuring the work performed by the builder meets the rules set down by the Building Code of Australia (BCA), local authorities and Australian Standards. As part of our service, we will arrange all the necessary approval forms, consultants plans for building approval if required (usually structural  and geo-technical engineer), take out the Home Warranty insurance policy on your behalf and arrange contracts for you to sign with us.


Once the relevant parties have been appointed, quotes accepted and contracts signed, the builder applies to the certifier for a Commencement Notice. Once issued, work can begin. At various points during construction (specified by the BA), the certifier will come on site to perform inspections.

If you’re building with Griffin Constructions, there will be regular meetings where you meet with the building team to discuss the progress of the job, what is coming up that could affect you and any changes that you’re considering.

Certificate of Completion

Once the certifier has performed their final inspection, they will issue a Certificate of Completion. You then need to apply to ACTPLA for a Certificate of Occupancy and Use (C5 form). The builder usually organises this for you when he submits his final certificates and warranties to the certifier. Once issued, the project is officially complete.