How to become an Owner Builder.

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Many home owners, when considering building, like the idea and the satisfaction of being an Owner Builder.

This, on the face of it, seems like an easy, rewarding and more cost effective alternative to engaging a contract builder.

BE WARNED!!! It’s not that easy and not always more cost effective.

Legislation within Tasmania allow for home owners to become Owner Builders, however there are some conditions and restrictions associated with this. Owners intending to manage or carry out building work that requires a building permit, must be registered as Owner Builders with the industry regulator, CBOS. All Owner Builders are responsible for the actions of all contractors on their building site and the state of the site. They are acting as the builder for that specific project and must comply with all the building industry regulatory requirements.

As you are considering becoming an Owner Builder, answer YES or NO to these following questions.owner builder 3

Do you have a clear understanding of the building industry regulatory requirements, from concept to completion?

Do you have a clear understanding of the specific project you are about to undertake?

Have you prepared a budget from concept to completion and have a clear understanding of your building costs?

Do you have the time and knowledge to project manage the construction of your project, or the know how to appoint a project manager to look after your interests?

Do you have the financial backing from a supportive finance provider?

Do you know what insurance to carry for complete protection?

Will you be sure to only engage trusted consultants and tradespeople with a proven reputation?

Will you only seek advice from licensed building practitioners  and/or recognised industry bodies?

If you answered NO to any of these questions, it is suggested you should NOT consider becoming an Owner Builder.

If you answered YEowner builder 1S to all these questions, feel free to read on.

An application form must be lodged with CBOS, signed by your appointed building surveyor, with relevant insurance details, completion of a Construction Induction card (White Card) and completion of a Tasmanian Owner Builder Training Course. Successful applicants will be approved as Owner Builders and provided with written confirmation, however if all the necessary criteria is not met there is no guarantee that all applications will be approved.

If approved, Owner Builders are limited to doing only two building projects in ten years. Some exclusions apply. Refer Owner Builder FAQ

An Owner Builder is not allowed to be the responsible designer, unless they are licensed as a building designer or architect. (small jobs, not all DIY).

Potential Owner Builders should discuss these requirements with their appointed building surveyor.

Insurances covering the actual works, public liability, workers compensation (where applicable) and materials in storage or transit are available. The owner builder can also insure all tools and plant they own, or are legally responsible for, used in the construction. Discuss your needs with your chosen insurance provider.

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For more information on becoming an Owner Builder consult with your chosen building surveyor or go to Building Surveyors and Owner Builders

We will be including more information as it becomes available, or if you have any questions ‘Contact Us’


  1. Robert Tilley says

    Your page on owner builders needs updating Workplace Standards is now named Work Safe Tasmania. But more importantly The Department of Justice have split Building Standards and Occupational Licensing (BSOL) from Work Safe Tas. BSOL now have their own web pages on the Department of Justice Website.

  2. In fact WorkSafe Tasmania has not been responsible for Building Regulation for a couple of years.
    Consumer, Building and Occupational Standards are now responsible for building regulation and all forms were updated in 2014 when the new building regulations were issued.
    Forms are likely to change again shortly with new legislation proposed so I urge you to check for up to date information.

    • admin@everythingbuilding says

      Thank you Beth, for bringing our attention to this over-site. We are aware that there will be changes shortly and will be amending all our information accordingly.

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