Becoming an Owner Builder

Are you thinking of using your own skills to build, extend or renovate a home that you live in or intend to live in? Or perhaps you would like to manage tradespeople to undertake work on a home that you live in or intend to live in. If either are the case, you may be considering becoming an Owner Builder.


An Owner Builder is someone who takes responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land. The 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.


Some of the obligations of an Owner Builder last for six and a half years after completion of the building work.


If the value of your proposed domestic building work is more than $16000.00 (including labour and materials costs) you will need to apply for a Certificate of Consent from the VBA (Victorian Building Authority) 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.


In deciding whether to issue a certificate, the VBA will consider whether the applicant:


  • Intends to live in the property upon completion of the building work;
  • Owns or co-owns land for which a building permit has been granted in respect of an owner-builder project in the past five years;
  • Has the prescribed knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of an owner builder.


Before applying to the VBA for a Certificate of Consent to become an Owner Builder, it is recommended you download the Owner Builder Information & Study Guide from the VBA website. This outline the key information about being an Owner Builder including your duties and responsibilities as an Owner Builder. The next step is completing the eLearning Assessment that must be submitted with your application. Note: To be able to complete the assessment and proceed to the next step of applying for a Certificate of Consent, you must answer all questions on the assessment accurately (ie: achieve 100% mark). A person’s mark will have a currency for 12 months.

It takes approximately 3 weeks to process an application for a Certificate of Consent assuming all information is provided.


For more information refer to the VBA website


Read more from our blog for more information on Owner Building in Victoria

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