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Advice for owner-builders

If you build or renovate on your land, you may be eligible to become an owner-builder.

Owner-builders take responsibility for building work carried out on their own land.


As an owner-builder, you must:

  • understand requirements for building permits, occupancy permits and building contracts
  • pay the building permit levy
  • supervise or do the building work
  • ensure the building work is inspected
  • meet all building regulations and standards
  • let the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) know if costs increase as work goes on.

Owner-builders can't:

  • build multi-unit projects
  • build on a property that is not their main place of living.

Become an owner-builder

You need an owner-builder certificate of consent from the VBA if:

  • the construction value is more than $16,000, and
  • you live in or plan to live in the building.

When working out building costs, include all work costs such as labour and materials.

A relevant building surveyor may set a value for these costs if not estimated correctly.

They may ask a registered qualified quantity surveyor for a report.

Finishing the project

Your project is finished when the building surveyor gives you the:

  • Final Inspection Certificate, or
  • Occupancy Permit.

If the project will be sold within six and a half years you must get insurance. The insurance requires a technical inspection to check for defects.

This must be done by an Insurer Approved Inspection Service.

Need help?

Contact Building Services and we will get back to you.

Or call our Building Services team on 9298 8000.


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