Building or renovating for yourself, although very rewarding, is an important step with rules and regulations you should understand. For example, you should ensure that all sub-contractors are licensed and offer insurance for the work carried out.
What responsibilities does an Ownerbuilder have?
Owner-builders must carry out domestic building work in compliance with the Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations.
Owner-builders must ensure that they maintain a safe workplace and should have appropriate workplace and public safety insurance policies in place. They should also consider purchasing policies to protect themselves against fire and theft. When protection work is required, the owner-builder must also obtain insurance for adjoining property protection during construction, and for twelve months following completion.
Can owner-builders use contractors?
Yes! Where an owner-builder engages a contractor they remain responsible for the building project and must supervise the building work to ensure it is completed properly, arrange mandatory inspections through a relevant building surveyor and make appropriate payments to all contractors.
For domestic building work exceeding $5,000 in value, the contractor will be required to be a registered building practitioner and provide a Major Domestic Building Contract. The contract must be in writing and include certain minimum features as defined under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995.
The trade contractors who will require registration (for work over $5,000) and insurance (for work over $12,000) include:
• Roof tilers
• Swimming pool installers
• Cabinet makers and kitchen contractors
• Bathroom renovators
• House relocators
Ask for evidence of registration. All registered building practitioners are provided with a registration card and are listed on the Building Commission’s website. Obtain the warranty insurance cover from relevant trade contractors when building work exceeds $12,000.