Responsibilities of an owner-builder
An owner-builder is someone who takes responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land. If you wish to become an owner-builder, you will be responsible for:
- ensuring a building permit is obtained and paying the building permit levy
- supervising or undertaking the building work
- ensuring the work meets building regulations and standards
- notifying the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) if the estimated cost of works has increased at the end of the project.
Apply for a building permit as an owner-builder
Determine your eligibility to become an owner-builder on the VBA's owner-builder eligibility page.
If eligible to become an owner-builder and the works you'll be doing are over $16,000, you need to obtain a certificate of consent to be an owner-builder from the VBA.
Engage a building practitioner, contractor or tradesperson for domestic works over $10,000.
Owner-builder works over $10,000
As the owner-builder, you’ll need to enter into a contract with a building practitioner, contractor or tradesperson for domestic building work costing more than $10,000.
If you intend to engage a single builder to do all the building work, you do not need to submit an owner-builder application, as you will not qualify as an owner-builder. Instead, you’ll need to enter into a domestic building contract with a registered building practitioner.
The VBA warns against situations where a builder or tradesperson asks you to sign a building permit as an owner-builder, even though they will be doing the work.
View the VBA's owner-builder page for the latest information on owner-builder requirements.
This page was last updated on 22 April 2021.