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Building services

Owner-builder permits

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

Step 1

Determine your eligibility to become an owner-builder on the VBA's owner-builder eligibility page.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Engage a building practitioner, contractor or tradesperson for domestic works over $10,000.

Step 4

Complete the building permit application online.

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.

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This page was last updated on 22 April 2021.