Tips for Owner Builders in Queensland

We could write a list an arm long when it comes to tips for Owner Builders but we’ve chosen to focus on what we believe is super important to a successful and enjoyable building experience.

These are four MUST HAVES.

1.  Communication skills

For any owner builder, communication is going to be absolutely key. Good communication skills AND listening skills are going to be what help you get through the challenges (and there will be challenges).

Why? Because you’re going to be dealing with ALOT of people throughout the process from designers, to architects, local council, government, engineers, surveyors and tradespeople galore. All individuals with all their quirks.

As an owner builder, you’re the boss which means the buck stops with you. Lead by example.

2.  Project Management skills

An owner builder needs to be across every activity going on throughout the build. Everything.

You need to have your finger on the pulse. You need to know who’s doing what and when; keep the lines of communication (there it is again) open; be across documentation and importantly; manage the risks.

3.  Be a planner

Fail to plan then plan to fail. Simple.

Find what’s going to work for you when it comes to planning. Excel spreadsheets? Google docs? Paper files?

Whatever your style, set the standard right from the beginning.

4.  Take your responsibilities seriously

As an owner builder in Queensland, the responsibility of the entire project sits on your shoulders.

Most importantly, the safety on the construction site and the safety of workers.

These things really do need to be taken seriously for your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those working with you.


Owner Builder Construction Loans and How They Work

Who is an Owner Builder?

An owner builder is the one who usually initiates or supervises activities like renovation or construction on his land. He/she is the property owner and the general contractor of his land too. An Owner Builder has a lot of responsibilities apart from supervising the activity on his land.

He/she also has to manage the budget.

What is an Owner Builder Loan?

It is usually believed that owner builder loans are extremely difficult to get. However, the task isn’t an impossible one. If you have equity or savings, it becomes easy to get some financial help from local lenders. You can also sign a deal with a guarantor and provide additional security to your property if he is willing to do so.

Here are some lending guidelines you need to know.

How much can you loan?

 About 95% of your total project expense:

The response will vary from case to case. However, it is only applicable licensed owner builders who are carrying out a renovation or construction activity on their own property.

 60% of your project expenditure:

This is applicable for an individual who is NOT an owner builder. In such a case, the loan is limited to 60% of the total value of your land plus inclusive of other expenses that come under construction and renovation.

 100% loans:

If you yourself are a guarantor, you can contact few lenders to get 100% expenses for your land inclusive of the construction activity.

 Discounts: If your case is an exceptional one that satisfies the norms formulated by some money lenders, then you can get professional services in competitive prices. Moreover, your land can also qualify for negotiations and discounts.

A lot of firms provide you owner builder loans under the above mentioned criteria however the criteria can be different for different firms.

How can you apply for an Owner Builder Loan?

Loan providing firms and mortgage brokers are expected to know the in and out of the process of building new homes.

They also keep a detailed knowledge about competitive interest rates.

You have to organise the cost estimates you’ve set for getting yourself a loan.

When you work with the best, the process becomes less tedious and you have less trust issues.

Owner builder helps save time and money building homes in Australia

People often have ask this question:

“Exactly how much do I save building my own house?”

This is a rather crucial question and can prove to be of great importance in the long run. If you are in a quandary about whether you should build your own home or let someone else do the work for you, getting a rough idea of costs upfront may help.

The first major saving comes from not having to pay the builder’s margin.

It means you become the contractor managing the entire project including budgeting, planning, hiring trades and suppliers, scheduling, quality checks etc.

You can achieve even greater savings by doing some of the physical labour yourself. This is referred to as ‘sweat equity’. However you need to have some ability to complete the work to the required standards.

It is possible, though not necessary for owner builders to complete part of the work themselves. Owner building advocates claim that up to 40% of the total cost can be saved by building on your own.

In Australia, owner builders are often referred to as self-builders and they take the control of designing and building for their residential project.

Building one’s own home is quite demanding though, and requires time, patience and skill.

Common advices before taking an Owner Builder loan

Being an owner builder demands a real sense of responsibility and strength to fulfil and manage what comes with it.

Like any major decision, it’s wise to consider the risks when making your decision.

Some common advice and suggestions for you before you take up an owner builder loan are as follows:

  • Keep a record of all expenses:

This is super important. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up in budget strife and that will only bring unnecessary stress. Make sure you set up a system to record expenses before the build even commences. Whether it’s paper based or an Excel spreadsheet. Record EVERYTHING. And should a financial issue arise, well, you’re going to be one step ahead.

In addition, to really cover yourself, get a waiver of lien from contractors. This is proof that the contractor has received payment for work carried out which equals no issues down the track.

Also, at the end of construction you’ll have a complete record of all costs being fully paid.

  • Theft of building materials:

Make arrangements to prevent the stealing of building materials. This will avoid any issues/delays to arrange replacements plus, you’ll avoid additional costs. 

The bank might be of little or no help at all if theft takes place. To continue your work, you will have to use your own money to replace the materials. This invites a loss and not profit. Not to mention stress!

  • Pay suppliers as you go:

We’ll say it again, as an Owner Builder you must keep records of work being carried out (before it starts) and when it’s completed including payment.

You have to utilise the monies you’ve received in an efficient and convenient manner. Make sure you pay the supplier or the service provider after the work is done and you are satisfied.

Beginners Guide for Owner Builders in Queensland

If you’re not already an experienced tradesperson than you’re going to have plenty to learn which is exciting!

Starting with a beginner’s mind is sound advice, even when it comes to the process of being an owner builder. By assuming you know nothing is a great mindset from the beginning.

So what makes a great Owner Builder?

The Owner Builder courses will give you a great understanding of the requirements of being one.

But in addition to what’s covered in a course, to be a successful owner builder, you need to have great communication skills as well as be a great project manager. The good news is these skills can be learned, all you need is an open mind.

Another important aspect of being an owner builder in QLD is commitment. Commitment to carrying out the wide range of responsibilities that come with the task.

Then comes a really important part – Plan. Plan. Plan.

  1. Plan the cost.
  2. Plan the time you’ll need to complete your project.
  3. Before even commencing with the project, estimate the resources you have at hand.
  4. Know your limitations and boundaries. Don’t try to do the work beyond your limits. First, there are chances that you might mess up and second, you will be compromising on the quality of the build.
  5. Plan your tradespeople. For work to be done efficiently and on time, they should be clear about what needs to be done and by when.

The next comes the list of responsibilities an owner builder should carry:

  1. Take care of your labourers – they are completing work for the biggest investment in your life. 
  2. Take time to make any decisions – make sure you understand what you need to in order to make informed decisions. And try to remove emotion!
  3. Supervise the work – be present onsite. This is your baby. Engage in the process. Importantly, ensure the health and safety of all workers on your building site!
  4. Remember – this is YOUR build. YOU have the responsibility of everything that happens onsite. You’re the boss and the buck stops with you.


First Things First – Buying Your House in NSW

Living your life in a house that is your own is every person’s dream. It feels relishing and satisfied from within when you breathe air in your own house. Many people think that buying a land and then building your own home over it is always beneficial and comfortable rather than buying a home. The former enables building a house as per your needs, capability and in a way you always imagined it. In such cases, two options persist – you can first buy the land and then build your home as per the attributes of the land or vice versa. Here too, the former is favourable since land options are limited but home designs vary.

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Owner Builders Course NSW

Are you searching for the best owner builders course NSW?  To start with you are required to obtain the White Card, which let you to work safely in the construction industry.

Web-based Owner Builders Course NSW White card online training

When it comes to safety concerns, and online safety courses there are various websites through which you can gain certificates and get qualified. The construction induction training is well known throughout the country and enables you to work on construction sites through NSW and Sydney.

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Owner Builders Checklist in Western Australia

Owner Builders Checklist in Western Australia

Whether you are renovating your home or planning to build from scratch, taking the time to understand the requirements of doing the work yourself is a great place to start.

The first thing you need to determine is the value of the work you’d like to carry out. In WA, if it is over $20,000 then that’s when you need to go through the process of becoming an Owner Builder in WA.

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Major Risks Renovators Take When Insuring a Home

When applying for a general home insurance cover, it is important to understand whether or not; the policy you’re taking includes home renovations. If you don’t pay keen interest on this aspect, you could end up losing thousands, even when you choose to work with a professional handyman. Many people can’t entrust the renovation job to a mate they picked from the streets because they know things might just go wrong. However, according to, even hiring the best of professional tradesmen cannot do much if you haven’t checked on your insurance.

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About the Owner Builder Licensing Act in Australia

Among owner builders in ACT, a particular owner builder may wish to obtain a license to plan and start buildings and construction work on property that he or she owns. Interested applicants for an owner builder license have to apply for the ACT 2004 and fulfill all the eligibility requirements and follow all the norms.An owner builder in ACT takes on exactly the same responsibilities as a licensed builder to look after building construction work and ensure the building work doesn’t break the rules of Building Act 2004.

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