DIY and owner builders


You might be tempted to perform "do-it-yourself" renovations to save some money, maintain greater control over the project, or just for the satisfaction of completing the project yourself. Before you commit to a DIY renovation, think carefully, as there are a number of pitfalls for the inexperienced.

Master Builders recommends you always use a suitably licensed, qualified and experienced building professional for any building work.

If you do undertake DIY work as an Owner builder here are a few things to consider:

  • Only certain types of work can be completed under an¬†Owner builder permit. You can build or renovate your house¬†or build ancillary structures, such as decks, pergolas or¬†carports (provided the building work is on your main home or¬†ancillary to it).
  • You are not able to build or install a ¬†swimming pool, demolish¬†a building, handle asbestos or perform work on a commercial¬†building. You are not able to build a secondary residence or¬†dual occupancy unit under an Owner builder licence.
  • You can only perform work as an Owner builder on land that¬†you own.
  • You will need to apply for an Owner builder license. Further¬†information about how to apply for a license is available at¬†www.planning.act.gov.au. There are minimum qualifications¬†requirements that you will need to meet.
  • You will still need to obtain Building approval and¬†Development approvals (if necessary).

Finally, if you embark on a DIY project, remember that safety should be your number one priority. Further information about safety on building sites is available from the Access Canberra WorkSafe ACT web site at www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au.