The short answer is, yes you can. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of becoming an owner-builder in Western Australia.
However this comes with a word of caution. Building a home is one of the most complex and challenging projects you can undertake and is not something we would recommend doing unless you are already a registered builder.
Below are some of the most common questions people ask when thinking of building their own home.
Can I be an owner-builder?
Yes, you can be an owner builder in Western Australia.
As the owner-builder, you are responsible for supervising and building your own home, with the assistance of the tradespeople you hire.
It is important to note that being an owner builder comes with its own set of responsibilities, so it is important to carefully consider if you have the necessary skills, knowledge, and time to undertake this project.
What can an owner-builder build?
As an owner builder, you can build any residential building on your own property, as long as it complies with the necessary building codes and other regulations.
Some things to consider when deciding to build your own home are the location and zoning requirements, the size and style of the building, and the required permits for the construction.
How long is an owner-builder approval valid?
Owner builder approval in Western Australia is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
It is important to keep in mind that once the approval has expired, you will need to reapply for another approval before starting any construction work.
How to become an owner-builder?
To become an owner builder in Western Australia, you will need to:
- Submit an application to the Building Services Board
- Pass a mandatory owner-builder course
- Obtain Home Indemnity Insurance before commencing any construction
Once your application is approved, you will receive your owner-builder registration and you can start planning and building your new home.
Can I build again?
Yes, you can become an owner builder again in Western Australia, but you will need to reapply and complete the necessary requirements for each project.
However, owner-builders can only be issued a building permit once every 6 years unless they have a special exemption.
Your responsibilities when building your own home
As an owner-builder, it is your responsibility to ensure the building work is carried out properly and in compliance with the necessary regulations.
Some of your responsibilities include:
Supervision of building work
It is important that you supervise and oversee all building work that is taking place on your site.
This includes ensuring that all tradespeople are licensed and insured and that all work is being carried out properly and to a high standard.
Displaying a sign
It is a requirement for owner-builders to display a sign at the building site identifying that the work being carried out is by an owner-builder.
The sign must include the registration number of the owner builder and must be displayed in a prominent position on the property.
Home Indemnity Insurance
Before starting any construction work, you will need to obtain Home Indemnity Insurance.
This insurance provides protection to any future owners of the property in case the owner builder dies, disappears or becomes insolvent during the construction process.
A word of caution
While it is possible to become an owner-builder in Western Australia, it is important to carefully consider if you have the necessary skills, knowledge, and time to undertake this project.
It's also not that easy get finance for owner-builders and most often they require much larger deposits compared to working with a professional builder.
There are many examples of owner-builder projects that have gone badly wrong and so it is not something we would recommend to anyone unless you have the necessary experience to perform the role to a high level