The Essential First Step in Your Home Build: Selecting a Fireplace

Selecting a Fireplace when embarking on the exciting journey of building your dream home, the list of decisions you face can be overwhelming. From floor plans to finishes, every choice seems pivotal. Yet, there’s one decision that, surprisingly, should come before many others: selecting your fireplace. In New South Wales, understanding the significance of this choice is not just about ensuring cozy winter nights; it’s a critical step due to regulatory requirements, specifically under Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993.

A section 68 approval is needed for certain activities on your property that might impact the community or environment. By applying for Section 68 approval, you’re asking the local council to ensure your project, including sewer connections, wood fires pools etc, meets specific safety, environmental, and community standards. It’s a way to verify that your plans align with regulations designed to preserve a safe, harmonious, and healthy community.

Why Start With a Fireplace?

At first glance, choosing a fireplace as one of your first prime cost (PC) items might seem unconventional, but there are compelling reasons for this approach:

1. Compliance and Approval

In NSW, installing a wood fire in your home is subject to specific planning rules and regulations. These are designed to ensure safety, environmental protection, and that installations meet local standards. The process includes obtaining approval under Section 68, which can be detailed and time-consuming. Starting with your fireplace selection ensures you’re on solid ground from a compliance standpoint.

2. Design Integration

Your fireplace isn’t just a heating source; it’s a focal point of your home’s aesthetic. Selecting it early allows architects and designers to seamlessly integrate the fireplace into your home’s layout and design, ensuring it complements your vision and enhances your living space.

3. Budget Planning

Fireplaces come in a range of types, styles, and prices. Making this choice early helps with accurate budgeting, ensuring the fireplace is accounted for in your overall financial plan. It also allows you to allocate resources wisely across your build.

4. Streamlining the Build Process

With the fireplace selection out of the way, you can streamline the rest of your build. Knowing the specifications of your chosen fireplace early on helps avoid delays, ensuring other building elements are designed and ordered with the fireplace in mind.

How to Navigate the Process

Choosing and installing a fireplace in NSW involves a few straightforward steps. Here’s how you can navigate this process smoothly:

Explore Your Options: Research various fireplace types and models, focusing on energy efficiency, design, and compatibility with your home’s size and layout.


Seek Expert Advice: Engage with professionals, such as architects, builders, or fireplace specialists. They can provide insights on the best options for your needs and guide you through the compliance aspects.


Understand the Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the specific planning rules and Section 68 requirements in NSW. This knowledge will help ensure your selection meets all necessary criteria.


Prepare Your Application: With the help of your builder or a professional consultant, prepare your Section 68 application. Include detailed information about your selected fireplace, ensuring it aligns with regulatory standards.
Submit and Monitor: Once your application is ready, submit it for approval. Keep in touch with the relevant authorities to monitor its progress and address any queries they may have.




Selecting your fireplace early isn’t just about compliance; it’s about making a choice that shapes the comfort, design, and budget of your home build. By prioritizing this decision, you set a solid foundation for the rest of your project, ensuring a smoother process and a result that truly feels like home.

If you are looking for more information to help you navigate building your custom dream home check out our essential guide here

As you embark on this exciting journey, remember, your fireplace is more than a heating option; it’s the heart of your home. Making this choice early helps ensure that heart not only beats strongly but does so in harmony with every other aspect of your dream home.

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