Owner Builders

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.

If the value of your proposed domestic building work is more than $16,000 (including labour costs and materials) you will need to apply for a certificate of consent from the VBA to become an owner-builder.

The certificate of consent enables you to obtain a building permit and carry out domestic building work as an owner-builder on your land.

Owner-builders have a number of important duties and responsibilities. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Obtaining and complying with a building permit;
  • Arranging for the certification of completed work and ensuring that the work is compliant with Australian standards;
  • Ensuring site and worker safety;
  • Rectifying any defective building work;
  • Ensuring appropriate insurance policies are in place.

It is important that owner-builders have a thorough understanding of these duties and responsibilities.

Before applying to the VBA for a certificate of consent to become an owner-builder, you should download the Owner-builder information and study guide. This document outlines the key information about being an owner-builder including your duties and responsibilities as an owner-builder. It sets out the steps you must take to become an owner builder, including the requirement to undertake a knowledge assessment.