Laws for Owner Builders are designed to protect and support Owner Building. It is important you become familiar with your obligations as an Owner Builder.
Owner-builder work is any work (including supervision and co-ordination) involved in the construction of, or alterations, repairs or additions to, a dwelling (which includes a house, terrace, town-house, garage, swimming pool and certain other structures and improvements)

Owner Builders are not in the business of building. When people say they intend to be an “Owner Builder”, this may mean different things to different people. There are three possible scenarios –

1.     you take on the role of the builder and build everything yourself without engaging trades people (except in areas where licensed trades people are required by law such as plumbers and electricians);

2.     you are the builder and do some of the work yourself and you will oversee the project through to completion, but will hire subcontractors or trades people to do part of the building work (for example framing or roofing); or

3.     you, as the OwnerBuilder are the construction manager, ie you organise all the materials and subcontractors (including perhaps a registered building contractor) to create your home. You carry insurances, organise site management, and organise inspections of the progress of works.


You are only allowed to obtain one owner builder permit in any 5 year period unless there exists exceptional circumstances.
Quality Rural Kit Homes have developed association(s) with many Owner Builder Course Providers and can assist you in obtaining the relevant licence / permits required for your building approval.

Victorian Owner Builders Requirements
Must obtain a Certificate of Consent from the Building Practitioners Board in order to obtain a building permit to carry out domestic building work valued over $12,000
May only obtain building permits for a single dwelling and associated work on a single property in any three-year period
Must reside and continue to reside, or intend to reside in the single dwelling
In order to obtain a Certificate of Consent, owner-builders must:

  • Read an Information and Education Kit and sign the statutory declaration
  • Complete an application form
  • Send the statutory declaration, application form, application fee and any supporting documentation to the Building Practitioners Board.

New South Wales

Who can be a NSW Owner Builder?
If you are over 18 years old
If you own the land or have a prescribed interest in the land (certificate of title or rate notice)
If you live or intend to live in the completed home or one dwelling of the dual occupancy as your principal residence.
You must also provide:

  • a description and address of the proposed work with a copy of the plans and council development application number or complying development certificate number
  • the owner-builder permit which is currently $154
  • where the value of the proposed work is over $12,000, evidence that you have either completed the approved owner-builder course, or can satisfy the approved equivalent qualifications.
  • and provide evidence of having completed a Course in General Safety Induction (White Card). This course must be completed in a classroom environment (face to face), is normally conducted over a one day 6 hour session and is available throughout New South Wales at prices ranging from $80 to $110.00.  Quality Rural Kit Homes have developed associations with many course providers for this important safety initiative and can assist in finding a provider in your area.


Queensland Owner Builders Requirements

Residential building work is the only type of work able to be performed under an Owner Builder permit in Queensland.

1.     A Queensland Building Services Authority – Owner Builder permit is required when the construction value is $11,000 or greater (including GST)

2.     Multiple dwelling or buildings for commercial purposes are not permitted

3.     You can only personally carry out any building work which requires a fire protection licence where the value of work (including labour and materials) is less than $1,100. Where the value of work is in excess of $1,100 the work must be carried out by a licensed contractor

4.     You cannot personally carry out any building work which involves Plumbing, Draining, Gas Fitting or Termite Management work unless you hold the appropriate occupational licence. If you do not hold an occupational licence the work must be carried out by a licensed contractor

5.     You may only carry out the building work as stated in the permit

6.     If you engage anyone to carry out building work, the person/s must hold the relevant BSA contractor’s licence


Tasmanian Owner Builders Requirements

1.     ownership or purchase of the land to be built on,

2.     the applicant(s) must not have already built two buildings as an Owner Builder since 1 July 2004 and

3.      is not in the business of building.

If an Owner Builder intends to carry out any domestic or commercial building work (Classes 1 – 9 of the Building Code of Australia classification system) that requires a building permit and exceeds $5,000, then that Owner Builder needs to be registered. This work includes alterations or extensions to a building. Your building surveyor must apply to the Director for a registration number.

What types of owner builder work are exempt from registration?

·        work that does not need a building permit from the council

·        work is $5,000 or less (cost of labour and materials)

·        work on any Class 10 buildings or structures (e.g. non habitable buildings such as garages, carports, sheds etc.)


South Australia

South Australian Owner Builders Requirements

Under the Development Act, Owner Builders proposing to undertake building work must:

1.     Obtain Development Approval

2.     Lodge all copies of certificates of indemnity insurance for building work to be undertaken by a licensed building work contractor with the council before commencing that stage of building work

3.     Notify adjoining owner/s of an intention to perform building work that may affect adjoining property

4.     Notify the council at prescribed stages of the building work

5.     Advise the council of the name and contact details of the person who will be supervising the building work undertake the building work in accordance with the approved documents

6.     Submit a signed Statement of Compliance (Schedule 19A) to the relevant authority on completion of the building work


ACT  Owner Builders Requirements

Only an individual can apply for an Owner Builder licence. You must own the land to be developed. Where there is more than one owner, all owners must consent to the application. It is recommended that the owner with the most appropriate skills to carry out the proposed work should be put forward as the primary applicant.

There is also a restriction on the number of Owner Builder licences that can be issued. To be eligible for an Owner Builder licence, you must not have been granted an Owner Builder licence in relation to other land in the previous five years. There is no restriction on the number of owner-builder licences for work on the same site.

Owner Builder qualifications
Mandatory qualifications apply, including the need to demonstrate sufficient experience to do the building work and satisfactory completion of an owner-builder course to demonstrate you have sufficient knowledge of legislative and technical requirements. The experience and qualifications required are relative to the complexity of building work:

1.     if you apply for an owner-builder licence to build or renovate a Building Code of Australia class 1 building such as a new residence or an addition/alteration to a residence, you will need to have successfully completed an Owner Builder course or examination within the last 5 years provided the course or examination was undertaken after 1 September 2004, or you are the holder of a builder licence (class A, B, C or interstate equivalent); or

2.     if you apply to build a Building Code of Australia class 10 structure such as decks, pergolas, carports, garages and retaining walls, you will need to provide evidence of your skills and experience to demonstrate that you are able to satisfactorily carry out the building work or alternatively you have successfully completed an Owner Builder course or examination within the last 5 years provided the course or examination was undertaken after 1 September 2004, or you are the holder of a builder licence (class A, B, C or interstate equivalent)

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Owner Builders

1.     is restricted to building or extending a house and associated building work (prescribed building work- see below) on the one parcel of land in any six year period (these building works may include more than one building and involve more than one building permit);
2.     must obtain an Owner-Builder Certificate from the Northern Territory Building Practitioners Board if intending to carry out prescribed building work valued over $12,000;
3.      must provide the Owner-Builder Certificate to a registered Building Certifier in order to obtain a Building Permit prior to commencing prescribed building work;
4.     will be responsible for rectifying any non-compliant prescribed building work for ten years from the date of completion of building;
5.      must obtain an Owner-Builder Home Building Certification Fund policy of insurance prior to commencing prescribed building work, protecting any future owners of the property against financial loss for a period of 10 years from date of completion of building, should the owner-builder fail to rectify non-compliant building work to the standards required by the Building Regulations
6.      must, not later than 14 days after completion of building, make a legally-binding declaration stating that the building work has been carried out in accordance with the Building Permit.

Western Australia

Western Australian Owner Builders

From the Builders Registration Board of Western Australia the requirements for Owner Builder’s, are to lodge a statutory declaration, proof of identity and fee to the Board before applying for a building licence over $20,000 from the local government.
To construct a residential house (including additions and renovations)
To build or renovate your home within the Boards’ area of jurisdiction, you are required to:
Complete a Residential Owner-Builder Statutory Declaration
Submit proof of identification (certified copy of Driver’s licence/Passport)
Pay a fee of $126 (non-refundable) to the Board.
The Board will issue you with a certificate and send a copy to the local government authority, who will then, subject to criteria, issue a building licence, which is the approval to commence building work.

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