All owner builders (not registered in the category of builder or architect) who are thinking about undertaking domestic building works exceeding $12,000 must apply for an Owner Builder Consent of Certificate from the Victorian Building Authority. This certificate is required for a Building Permit.
Every owner builder is allowed to build one (1) house every 3 years. Furthermore, any owner builder wishing to sell their dwelling within the first 7 years after construction (issue of occupancy permit) will need to obtain Building Indemnity Insurance prior to sale/settlement.
For further information pertaining to owner builders, please visit the Victorian Building Authority website.
Building is a major task and can be stressful, with many unforseen circumstances. An owner builder is responsible for all the roles and tasks that a builder would undertake, for example site fencing, site toilet, signage, supervision of contractors, arrangement of inspections, worksafe matters etc.
If you are new to the construction process, the following is a list that you should anticipate and have to undertake:
- Have plans drawn, these can be done by a registered building designer or the owner of the property – as plans need to be highly detailed, we advise all owners who are not competent in building design to engage professional building designers.
- Undertake costing estimates.
- Application for an Owner Builder Consent of Certificate is to be made to the Building Commission.
- Contact is to be made with the Shire to verify whether a Planning Permit is required.
- Apply for a Building Permit with a Private Building Surveyor. Prior to applying for a Building Permit, you may need to obtain Structural Design and Certification, a Geotechnical Soil Report, an Energy Rating Assessment, a Copy of Title, a Septic Tank Permit (if applicable) from Council's Health Department, Protection works notices etc, (if works adjacent to boundaries and/or buildings) and/or a Stormwater layout and discharge point. Please confirm with your relevant appointed Building Surveyor.
- Carry out all buildings works as approved in Town planning/Building permits. Any works outside the approved scope could detriment the overall all project. The Relevant Building Surveyor who issued the building permit will be responsible for all nominated building inspection, the mandatory building inspections and a general overview of the inspection are the following:
Foundation: Adequate excavation depth has been reached as per the Geotechnical Soil report and Structural Design, all foundations must be clean and free from debris and water etc.
Footing: Correct size reinforcement and mash must be correctly laid, is overlapping, adequate concrete cover is provided as per the Structural Design etc.
Frame: All structural members such as beams, lintels, bracings, columns etc must be correctly installed as per Structural Design and specifications.
Final: All building works as nominated on plans need to be completed prior to the final inspection which must be done prior to use/occupation of building. The Relevant Building Surveyor will also require certificates of compliance from plumbing and electrical contractors.