Methods of Owner Building - Owner Builder Club
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Methods of Owner Building


When it comes to doing a new build or renovation as an Owner Builder, there are a few options you can consider when it comes to how to go about the build process.

It comes down to time, money and experience. We know it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and emotion of building your own home or renovating but you need to strike a balance between your head and your heart. There are practical considerations that you need to sensibly think about.

Let’s go through the methods:

1. No experience? No problem, just keep it simple.
We’re sure you’ll be familiar with the KISS principle but we’ve made up our own. Keep. It. Seriously. Simple.

What we mean by KISS is keeping the design and the construction method simple. Think single story, brick veneer.

Not convinced it’s possible? Don’t underestimate yourself because we think it is. Expect to do more in the pre-planing stage to get up to speed with the ins and outs of building. Researching and planning will be absolutely key to your success.

Together with relevant industry professionals (think local council, draftsperson, surveyors, stage government), The Owner Builder Club (of course!), good trades (super important) and your exceptional organisational skills, you'll be well on your way to building your home.

2. Full-time Owner Builder
This option is great for those who are experienced and/or have LOTS of time. It may well be that you can take long service leave or extended annual leave; are a couple with one person at home full-time who can project manage. Or, if you’re a tradie, you’ll take time out and factor in the loss of income.

You can either a) be completely hands-on and do most of the build within your capability OR b) you can project manage the build.

This option is a great position to be in especially when it comes to getting the build done in a short period of time.

3. Part-time Owner Builder
Okay, so you really want to do as much as you can on your own because you’re a bit handy but you also have a full-time job and are less likely to take extended leave.

This is the category most OBs fall into.

You want to get your hands dirty and you’re prepared to (and want to) carry out a big chunk of the work yourself. The stuff you’re confidently capable of doing. If you’re not a licensed sparky/plumber or a concretor, bricklayer or carpenter, you’ll get those trades to do the work.

There are options within this option.

  • a) You can employ sub-contractors on a fixed quote and get them to do the stages to lock up (stages 1 to 3) then you can finish the rest.
  • b) You can employ sub-contractors on an hourly or contract basis and use your hours to supervise the entire build.

4. Employ a Project Manager

Employing a Project Manager or engaging a Carpenter to project manage on your behalf means you can have an experienced person support you through the build. Less stress and still an opportunity to save $$'s.

The important thing is you need to engage the right person. You want someone you can trust, is experienced, is easy to communicate with and genuinely wants to bring their A game (we know, it's cheesy). Go with your gut and ask for testimonials.

So there you have it. Which category are you thinking you'll fall into?