What is an owner-builder?
An owner-builder takes on all the legal responsibilities and management tasks usually completed by a builder. It doesn’t necessarily mean doing all the work (although you can save even more if you do!), but making sure the work is done correctly and by qualified tradespeople.
How do you save?
The major savings are made because you’re not paying for a builder’s time to coordinate the work. What’s more, you don’t pay their profit margin, which can be about 20 per cent of the cost of the job. You can also shop around for the best deals on materials and competitive quotes from trades.
Where do you begin?
You will need to get an owner-builder licence or permit. The requirements for this vary between states, so check with your state’s builder licensing authority. Most require an education course to be completed and proof of land ownership as a minimum.
What do you need to know?
Apart from making sure the work will meet relevant building codes and Australian Standards, important knowledge is the business side of the process – obtaining required certificates and approvals; having the correct insurances; knowledge of contracts; and being aware of the risks you are taking by being the builder.
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