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Points to keep in mind before becoming an Owner Builder


As an owner builder, you will take on the legal responsibilities and compliance requirements that are linked to the project. Hence, before you become an owner builder, it is important that you are aware of the building standards, building codes, quality of work and obligations that are attributed to your role.

Who is an owner builder?

As an owner builder, you have to own or co-own that land with the intention to live in your newly built home upon completion. It means that any work carried out on your property should be for your personal use and not for investment purpose.

As the place is for you, you can have more involvement in the construction, alterations or repairs carried out and be in full control of the renovations in your home to have it exactly how you want it. Before registering as an owner builder, you should prepare documents that show you are the property owner. This documentation could include the Certificate of Title or Register Search Statement.

Building Surveyor & Building Permits

You will need to have a building permit for any construction work being taken out on your property. It will be good if you consult a building surveyor beforehand. He can help you determine a correct description of your tasks and the costs involved. This is particularly useful to have while you apply for your Certificate of Consent. You must know that a Certificate of Consent doesn’t guarantee that you will be issued with a building permit.

The building surveyor will even check relevant plans & specifications, and make sure that the building work complies with the requirements of the Building Act and Building Regulations. Once the building permit has been issued, building work may commence.

Sub-contracting the work

Being an owner builder doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to carry out all the work yourself. In a majority of cases, unless you are a skilled tradesperson or carrying out a minor work, you will not have the skills and expertise to carry out the actual construction of your new home. You will have to take the help of a Registered Building Practitioner to take care of some of the work or oversee the work on your property.

If you go for an unregistered Building Practitioner, you must know that they will not be able to take out domestic building insurance and also you will not be able to get insurance cover for your project. Also, it is important that you check their category of registration, so that you know what sort of work they are registered to undertake. As an owner builder, apart from contracted work, you are still liable for your legal responsibilities under the Building Regulations.

Domestic building insurance

Domestic building insurance, building warranty insurance, as well as home warranty insurance are all the same, with different names. The insurance is coverage of the builder’s work on your property. If you have subcontracted a builder, make sure that he provides you with a certificate of insurance as proof that domestic building insurance has been issued for your property.

You will also have to take care of the owner builder insurance. You will easily come across a number of well-known and reliable companies that can provide you with owner builder insurance in Victoria  and all the other cities around the world.

Once the project comes to an end, you have in reality the dream home you always wanted and the satisfaction of knowing that you were able to manage the entire building project yourself successfully.

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