How to become an Owner Builder - Owner Builder Club
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How to become an Owner Builder

Okay, so what we talk about here is the actual process to get your Owner Builder Permit and Building Permit.

At this point in the process, you'll know the state based requirements (for the state you're building in) and importantly, if you can afford to build as an Owner Builder.

So now is the time to start engaging the services of professionals.

Step 1 – Engage a Draftsperson/Designer or Architect

There are a few reasons that support engaging a draftsperson or architect:

  1. It may help with your final decision to become an OB.
  2. Will bring your vision to life.
  3. To obtain final plans/structural drawings required for development applications/approvals (the plans kick start the process including budgeting).
  4. Help you with permits/approvals.

Step 2 – Lodge the Development Application (DA) with local Council

If the services of your Draftsperson/Designer or Architect don't extend to submitting your plans for approval, then here's where you need to do it yourself.

Contact your local council and they will provide all the relevant information.

Step 3 – Engage a Building Surveyor

A good Building Surveyor is worth their weight in gold, they're a vital part of the building process.

A Building Surveyor knows the ins and outs of rules, regulations and legislations when it comes to building. Phew, we love that!

Take your plans to a Building Surveyor and inform them of your intention to undertake the project as an OB. Depending on the state you're building in, here are some things you're likely to get help with from a Building Surveyor:

  1. Understand the cost of your build (or you may need an Estimator).
  2. General building advice.
  3. Help with application for a Building Permit (you have to complete Step 3 first).
  4. Issue a Certificate of Likely Compliance (after you get your Building Permit).
  5. Issue a Start Work Certificate.
  6. To partner with you through the entire build.

Step 4 – Do an OB Course (and get a White Card)

The need to complete an Owner Builder course is something else that differs from state to state. It's mandatory in some states and not others.

Then there's the White Card (Construction Induction training). And again, how you do the training differs state by state (online or in a classroom).

In some states, you need to do both an Owner Builder course and have a White Card in order to get your building permit.

The good news?

The Owner Builder Club has done the work for you and evaluated 12 owner builder course providers. We're now proud partners with Absolute Education.

Click here to find out more.

Step 5 – Get your Owner Builder Permit

You're getting there! Again, this process differs by state however generally speaking you need to – complete a permit application with required proofs (outlined on form); pay a fee; and wait for approval (again differs by state but can take up to 4 weeks).

This permit application is done via the relevant state government department.

Once the permit is approved, you will be issued with your Owner Builder permit number (a must celebrate moment!).

You're now ready for the next step.

Step 6 – Get the required Building Permit from your local council

Again, you'll need to check the specific requirements with your local council.

Step 7 – Final checks by Building Surveyor

Your Building Surveyor may have done a great job earlier on explaining the process however now is the time to see what else is required (state based requirements) before you commence the build. For example, a ‘Start Work Notification' and any other permits e.g. plumbing permit.

So that's it!

Don't be daunted by the process. The more informed and educated you are, the better your experience will be.

Relevant links:


Click ‘Find Out More' below and discover our Courses designed to help Owner Builders simplify the process.