Owner Builders vs Registered Builders

In Victoria, building works can be carried out by a Registered Builder or as an Owner Builder. An owner-builder is someone who takes responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land. They are not necessarily the person who physically does the work.

Registered Builders will:

  • Visit the site prior to works and prepare a major domestic building contract.
  • Supply domestic building insurance for projects over $16,000.
  • Ensure that all required permits are obtained for the project and ensuring the work meets building regulations and standards.
  • Contract all the trades required to complete the project.
  • Charge a fee for his work. Registered builders typically charge about 15-20% above the trade costs plus the cost of the insurance.

An Owner Builder:

  • Must have a thorough understanding of their duties and responsibilities. Download the VBA Owner-builder information and study guide for more information.
  • Is responsible for ensuring that a building permit is obtained for the works. This may also require town planning permits, building over easement permits, council consent permits etc.
  • Is responsible for the supervising or undertaking of the building work, and ensuring the work meets the required building regulations and standards.
  • Must ensure all required inspections are completed and rectify any defective building work.
  • Is responsible for ensuring they have the appropriate insurance covers required e.g. public liability, personal injury cover, theft, fire & storm etc.
  • Can only build or renovate one house every five years and must intend to live in the house once completed.
  • May have some obligations that last for six and a half years after completion of the building work.
  • Property may become a workplace for the purposes of Occupational Health and Safety legislation and then certain obligations will apply. They are responsible for ensuring site and worker safety.
  • Must obtain a certificate of consent from the VBA to be an owner-builder If the value of the domestic building work to be undertaken is more than $16,000.
  • Cannot engage one builder or contractor to do all of the building work.


Warranties still apply for both Registered Builder and Owner Builder approaches.

  • A registered builder does not create warranties. He passes them on from the manufacturers, designers, engineers and installers who each have their own warranty. For example, a Rolladoor has a 2yr manufacturer’s warranty. Even though the job is done by a registered builder, the warranty is still only 2 years. The registered builder does not create warranties, he only manages them.
  • The standard warranty supplied for our work is 6.5yrs which is backed by the engineer’s compliance certificate. In addition, a variety of manufactures warranties are provided. Some are up to 25 yrs. The installation warranty provided by the installer is 2 years, which is maximum the time period of the building permit.  

The B&G Sheds Solution

The owner builder method is substantially cheaper than the Registered Builder method, but some customers do not want the time delays and hassle of having to get a white card and an owner builder’s licence. We supply both options to our customers.
The Standard Approach:

  • Unless otherwise specified, all quotation and contracts are prepared for Owner Builders. The materials supply and permit services are carried out by B&G Sheds. Concrete and footings works and installations services are then carried out by the owner or by independent contractors. To maintain your right to be an owner builder, you must NOT engage just one builder to do all of the building work.
  • The building permit will be applied for with the title holder as the owner builder. B&G Sheds acts as the agent for the owner. No builder’s warranty insurance is supplied or inferred.

The Registered Builder Approach:

  • The registered builder will visit your site to confirm that the proposed contract covers all of issues that may need to be considered.
  •  The registered builder will prepare a major domestic building contract and supply the domestic building insurance.
  • The registered builder will ensure that all permits are obtained and will purchase the materials and contract all trades required to complete the all the works.
  • All payments will be made to the registered builder as per the payments schedule in the major domestic building contract.
  • The cost of our recommended registered builder is 15% of the total project cost plus the domestic builder’s insurance which is approx. $1000.


Buy Direct & Save!

We are an independent manufacturer and installer of prefabricated buildings, not just an agency or franchise outlet. Cut out the middle men!

To discuss your upcoming project, call us on (03) 9360 0022