Owner builder


An owner-builder is someone who takes responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land.

An owner-builder is responsible for obtaining building permits, supervising or undertaking the building work, and ensuring the work meets building regulations and standards.

In Victoria, an owner-builder can only build or renovate one house every five years and must intend to live in the house once completed.

Certain obligations associated with owner-builder last for six and a half years after completion of the building work.

In some instances, an owner-builder's property may become a workplace for the purposes of Occupational Health and Safety legislation and therefore certain obligations will apply.

If the value of the domestic building works to be undertaken is more than $16,000 you must have a certificate of consent from the VBA to be an owner-builder.

  • Important things to note should you decide to undertake work as an Owner-Builder
  •  A builder, contractor or trades person must provide you domestic building insurance for work costing more than $16,000;
  • Warranties still apply. More info required
  • If the total cost of work exceeds $5000, you are required to enter into a major domestic building contract with a registered builder/contractor/trades person (unless a single trade exemption applies). Find a registered builder in your area.

Some builders or tradespeople may ask you to sign an application form for a building permit as an owner-builder even though they will be doing all the work. If you do this it may put you at risk. The person may be unregistered or trying to avoid their legal responsibilities. You are not an owner-builder if you intend to engage one builder to do all the building work

More info: http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/owner-builders