The Ins And Outs Of Becoming An Owner Builder

Are you among the many Australians who want to be an owner builder? You will be glad to know that it is not as difficult as most people make it seem. Furthermore, since you build your own house, you save a great deal of your hard-earned money that would otherwise be spent on hiring workers.

Being a home-builder demands that you know certain things about it. Only then will you be able to carry out your project efficiently and effectively. Here are a few ins and outs of an owner builder you should know about.

The Legal Responsibilities

When you decide to become an owner builder, the same laws and regulations that apply on a regular builder also use to you. You will be expected to obtain the required licenses for doing the job.

For example, according to the Building Act (Vic) 1993, you will be required to acquire a domestic building insurance, a defects’ inspection, and a local building insurance, etc.

Also, you need to realise that you will not be allowed to receive another owner builder license within three years of the first permit.

This means that even if you complete your house in a short time, you will not be able to begin another until three years from the date your first license was issued.

Additional Licenses

There are several licenses that you may need to acquire before commencing your owner-builder project. The plumbing and electrical system of your house are two of the critical components that require separate licenses for you to tackle them as an owner builder.

One of the critical issues that sometimes arises is the lack of experience and knowledge. Since most owner-builders aren’t professional, they can miss out on a required license. There will be some structures, sheds, and buildings – whether rural or residential, that require approval and some that do not. Know which building require permits and council approval before you proceed.

In other words, even if you know the technical part of the job, there is significant legal documentation involved that you need access to.

Common Mistakes

Several owner builders in Australia acquire their licenses and forward the work to a sub-contracted party to undergo domestic building work. This can get you in trouble as the subcontractor may be unregistered.

He or she will also have to acquire a contract if the local building work exceeds $5,000.

Furthermore, never fail to notify the local council when you reach a notification stage. These are stages of the construction of your buildings (Often dictated by the terms of a DA – Development Application) when you are required to undergo inspection to ensure everything is moving in the right direction.

You can find these steps in your building permit.


People who go for an owner builder license often think that it allows them to construct the house on their own. You cannot merely build the entire home on your own. The development application you receive will include a list of activities that you can undergo.

Even with an owner-builder license, you cannot undergo specific work that is required to be undertaken by a professional including plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning setup, etc.

Process Overview

If you are rooting for the owner-builder license, you will apply. That application will then be assessed by an owner builder officer who will further recommend your use to the manager. This application will then be reviewed by the owner-builder manager after which you will receive your license to operate as an owner builder.

These were some of the necessary things every person who wants to become an owner builder should know about.

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