The Owner Builder Checklist - Owner Builder Club

The Owner Builder Checklist

As Winston Churchill once said – if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.

So here’s a checklist of some “Must Do’s” to help get you started (also check out ‘Relevant Links' below).

Do your research

  • Read as many articles and talk to as many people as possible about becoming an Owner Builder.
  • Join our growing community on Facebook (it's a closed group) and learn from real life Owner Builders.
  • Contact your local council to find out EVERYTHING about the building process including development application (DA), required approvals and the building permit.
  • And importantly, head to our Courses site (click here) for the best ever, super affordable, completely logical courses supporting Owner Builders!

Think about your budget (can you afford it?)

This is serious. You DO NOT want to get part way through a build only to run out of money 🤯

It's highly recommend that you understand all the costs associated with an owner builder project. Know upfront what you can afford and allow for anywhere from 15% to 30% extra.

CLICK HERE to head to my non-government required resources. Specifically, Is Owner Building for You and the Pre-planning Stage includes four great lessons that go into great detail about applying for finance as well as managing finance for an owner build. You'll be pleased to know the content was developed in consultation with a banking industry expert with over 30 years experience!

Get clear on what you want

You need to work out what's important to you, what you like and don't like. Your style, design, vision, colours – the lot.

Can't go without a butler's pantry? Well include it on your list of non-negotiables!

Rip pages out of home magazines, record details of what you've seen in houses you love, scroll Insta and Pinterest to your hearts content.

Our design planner is included in our Pre-planning Stage resource!

Consult an Architect or Draftsperson

You're going to need plans for when it comes time to submit your Development Application with Council and to get finance (if applicable).

Do an Owner Builder course (and get a White Card)

Owner Builder mandatory course requirements differ from state to state. A course is mandatory in most states just not SA or NT. In VIC, the course is done through the VBA.

The requirements regarding a White Card/Construction Induction also differ from state to state.

To learn more, head here page and simply select the state you're building in!

Get your Owner Builder Permit

Learn more by hitting – click here.

Get a Building Permit

A Building Permit is different to an Owner Builder Permit. A Building Permit is issued by your local Council and is required BEFORE work commences.

Get the required insurances

As an Owner Builder, you need to think and act like a builder because at the end of the day, the buck stops with you.

So. Do you think a registered builder would operate without insurance? NO!

We did THE best interview that drills down into all things Insurance. It's a must read so click here and you'll be an expert by the end of it! You can also click here to obtain a quick quote for insurance.

Get organised

This should probably go further up the page because we highly recommend you think about how you’re going to keep all paperwork and information in one place. How about small A4 folders from Officeworks or Ikea? Clearly labelled as you see fit? Or plastic folders? Think about filing under quotes, permits, inspiration, plans etc.

We can’t stress enough the importance of planning and being organised. And if planning is not one of your strengths right now, commit to developing it!


The Build Sequence by Stage – click here.

How to become an Owner Builder – click here.

State government links – click here.

For loads more info including Q&A's with industry experts and real-life Owner Builders – click here.


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