An owner-builder is someone who takes responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land. If you become an owner-builder, you will be responsible for:

  • ensuring a building permit is obtained
  • paying the building permit levy to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA)
  • supervising or undertaking the building work
  • ensuring the work meets building regulations and National Construction Code
  • notifying the Victorian Building Authority if the estimated cost of works has increased at the end of the project.

If the value of the domestic building work, which includes the cost of labour and materials, is over $16,000, you'll need to have a certificate of consent from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to be an owner-builder. The value of the works is the estimated cost as if you were to engage a registered builder to do the work. Your building surveyor or architect can help with calculating the cost of the work.

There are also certain works owner-builders cannot carry out such as:

  • demolition work
  • subfloor work (e.g. re-stumping or reblocking)
  • the relocation of a home (which includes re-stumping or subfloor work).

These works must be carried out by a qualified registered building practitioner.

Owner-builders will need to supply a certificate of consent to their building surveyor before a building permit can be issued.
An application for a certificate of consent is to be lodged with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). To apply to be an owner-builder, please visit the Victorian Building Authority's website.
For more information on the duties and responsibilities of being an owner-builder and information on the building permit process, please see the link to the VBA's Owner Builder Study Guide below.