If you want to undertake or coordinate any domestic building work valued at $11,000 or more – whether it be to build a new home or renovate an existing one – you must obtain an owner builder permit. Owner builder permits are issued by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) and will only be given to an applicant named on the title of the home. The owner builder status will remain on the title of your home for six years.

If you engage a builder or tradesperson to do any work, valued in excess of $3,300, you'll also need to ensure you're using a licensed contractor.

You won't be covered by insurance

It's important to be aware that there is no QBCC insurance cover available on owner builder work. As an owner builder, you’re fully responsible for all work and must be aware of all the legal requirements – ensuring that the work complies with the National Construction Code.

Be sure to obtain relevant approvals

All building and renovation work must have relevant building approvals. As an owner builder, you’re responsible for organising the approvals through your local council or a private certifier. A certifier isn’t permitted to issue a building approval until receipt of your owner builder permit.

If you’re renovating, you may also require a building inspection on the work when it’s nearing completion. You should check the work and record any defects or items that need attention. If you used a contractor, they're obligated to rectify any faults that may occur during the defect liability period.

Beware of non-conforming products

Non-conforming products can be found across all areas of construction, from steel, copper and electrical products to glass, aluminium and engineered wood – from the roof down to the bolts and screws.

If you choose to source products yourself, you should make sure that they are fit-for-purpose and comply with relevant legislation.

For more information, refer to the Procurement of Construction Products: A guide to achieving compliance produced by the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council.

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