Is Being an Owner Builder for me?
Will I Save Money?
Not necessarily. While you may save on labour costs by undertaking much of the work yourself, there are many things that affect the final cost of building work.
For example, building materials can be a large part of the total cost of construction and you may be unable to obtain the volume buyer discounts or other savings available to professional builders. However the more time, labour and organising that you spend on site will decrease your overall costs.
You should be wary of a builder who suggests you obtain an Owner-builder Permit, whilst they do all the building work for you. This may be a ploy when the builder is shirking responsibility or is unlicensed or is unable to get insurance.
Who has to obtain an Owner-builder Permit?
Under NSW law you must obtain an Owner-builder Permit if:
Who can become an owner-builder?
- You intend to undertake or supervise your own residential building work, AND
- The market value of the labour and materials needed to complete the work is greater than $5000, AND
- The work requires approval from your Local Council.
You do not need to hold formal qualifications. However, you must:
- Be 18 years or older, AND
- Own, have a share in ownership, or have a leasehold interest (exceeding 3 years) in the land on which you intend to build your home or in the house that you want to renovate, AND
- Intend to live in the completed home or, in the case of dual occupancy construction, one of the dwellings.
How much does an Owner-builder Permit cost?
The application fee costs $135. Since 1 May 1997, there are no insurance premiums to be paid to the office of Fair Trading to cover subsequent purchasers. (See Insurance section if selling within 7 years of completion.)