What Can an Owner Builder Do in Queensland? - Owner Builder Club

What Can an Owner Builder Do in Queensland?

What Can an Owner Builder do in Queensland?

If you're a property owner with a BIG DIY spirit, and the thought of building or renovating your own home as an owner builder gets your heart racing, then you've landed in just the right spot to learn just what an Owner Builder can do in Queensland!

In this guide, we're going to demystify the world of owner builders. We'll cover the entire spectrum of projects you can dive into as one. Expect a thorough rundown of their roles and responsibilities when it comes to managing residential building projects on their own turf.

As we journey through this guide, you'll uncover the vast array of projects that come under the owner builder umbrella. We'll also take a deep dive into the specific rules and regulations that keep owner builder projects in Queensland on the straight and narrow. 

So, whether you're a newbie considering your first owner-builder project or a seasoned pro keeping up with the latest rules, this guide is your go-to resource. So, let's jump right in!

Owner Builder Projects

So, what's an owner builder? Well, it's pretty much what it sounds like – a property owner who rolls up their sleeves and takes charge of construction projects on their own land. This could mean anything from managing the project to getting down and dirty with the building work itself.

Now, you're probably wondering, “What kind of projects can I take on as an owner builder?” Well, buckle up because the list is quite impressive. You could be building a brand new home, renovating an old one, or making tweaks to your existing property. Fancy a garage, a shed, or even a swimming pool? As an owner builder, you can make it happen!

But remember, with great power comes great responsibility (Yes, we just quoted Spiderman!). In Queensland, if your project costs more than $11,000, you'll need to get an owner builder permit. And for farm buildings, this limit jumps to $27,500.

So, before you break ground, you must make sure you've got all your permits in order.

Restrictions and Limitations

Alright, owner builders, it's time for some real talk. Our journey is peppered with plenty of thrilling opportunities, but let's not forget about the road signs along the way – the restrictions and limitations.

First up on our list: there are certain jobs you just can't tackle as an owner builder without the right license. Think plumbing, fire protection services, and electrical services. These tasks require a particular set of skills (sounds like a line from a Liam Neeson movie, doesn't it?). But jokes aside, these jobs are for licensed professionals, all in the name of safety and regulations.

Next, let's talk about project limits. There's a cap on how many projects you can take on as an owner builder. Usually, it's one project every five years. Why is that, you ask? Well, it's to make sure the owner-builder provisions aren't being used for commercial building activities.

Lastly, here's a crucial point to remember: as an owner builder, home warranty insurance is off the table. Yep, if something goes awry with the construction, the buck stops with you. That's why careful planning and project management are your best friends in this journey.

So, while the owner builder life can be a rewarding adventure, it's important to keep these limitations in mind and plan your projects wisely.

The QBCC Licensees and Owner Builder Permits

Alright, folks! Let's roll up our sleeves and delve a bit deeper into the nitty-gritty of how QBCC licensees and owner builder permits interact, especially when you're sprucing up your own property.

If you're sporting a QBCC license in your toolkit, there's some good news coming your way. You get a fast pass on the owner builder course! That's right, no need to burn the midnight oil studying for this one. You can save that time and money for your actual project.

But wait, there's a catch! If you're thinking of working on your own property without an owner builder permit, be ready to shell out for the QLeave levy. This levy is a way to fund long service leave benefits for those hardworking souls in the building and construction industry.

Here's where it gets interesting. If you, as a QBCC licensee, decide to pull out an owner builder permit for your project, you score another win – a free pass on the QLeave levy. This could add up to some serious savings, especially if you're planning a grand project.

So, while being an owner builder might feel like navigating a maze sometimes, remember there are some sweet perks waiting for you IF you're a QBCC licensee. It all comes down to planning well, understanding the game's rules, and making smart decisions.

The QBCC Online Register and Administrative Advice

Imagine you're a builder, pouring your heart and soul into a project. You've got your permit from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), and you're making your mark on the Queensland landscape.

Now imagine if there were a way to showcase your hard work to the world. Well, the good news is – there is!

The QBCC maintains an online register of owner builder permit holders, acting as a virtual billboard for your dedication and commitment.

This isn't just a list of names and addresses. It's a beacon of transparency and accountability in the owner builder community. Anyone – from potential buyers to curious neighbours – can tap into this treasure trove of information. They can see who's been developing or renovating properties, offering them insights into the quality and standards of your work. This could make all the difference when you're ready to sell your property or apply for future building permits.

In Queensland, administrative advice about your owner builder work stays on the property title for seven whole years. That's right, your property carries a seven-year ‘memory' of your work. This means any potential buyers are fully informed about the property's past. It's like a seal of quality, right there on the title!

So, if you're planning a project, keep this seven-year period in mind. It could be a great selling point down the line. After all, who wouldn't want to buy a property with a proven track record of quality workmanship?


Remember, being an owner builder is not just about rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. It's also about understanding the rules, making smart decisions, and planning your project well. Yes, there might be a few bumps along the way, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you're more than capable of navigating them successfully.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications do I need to become an owner builder in Queensland?

In Queensland, you need to complete an owner builder course and obtain an owner builder permit before you can start your project.

Can I sell a property I built as an owner builder in Queensland?

Yes, you can sell a property you built as an owner builder. However, there are certain conditions and warranties that need to be met and provided to the buyer.

What are the penalties for not complying with the regulations of owner building in Queensland?

Non-compliance with the regulations can result in hefty fines or even imprisonment. It's important to understand and follow all the rules and regulations before starting your project.

Can I hire subcontractors for my owner builder project in Queensland?

Yes, owner builders can hire licensed subcontractors to assist with their projects. However, the owner builder is still responsible for the overall management and safety of the project.

What kind of support can I expect from the Queensland government as an owner builder? 

The Queensland government provides various resources and support services for owner builders including online courses, permit information, and dispute resolution services. Click here to go to the QBCC website.

Do I need a different permit for renovations and extensions as an owner builder in Queensland?

No, the same owner builder permit applies for new builds, renovations, and extensions. However, you may need to obtain additional approvals depending on the nature of the work.

Thinking about Owner Building? Unlock your potential and gain the right insights that will help you make an informed decision about becoming an Owner Builder. This resource will empower you to confidently embark on your journey into the world of owner building.

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