5 things to consider when becoming an owner builder

Last updated on November 25th, 2021 at 10:13 am by Bill Tsouvalas

Moving your dream house off a blueprint that you have in your mind and bringing it to life is not an easy thing to do. As an owner builder, there are many aspects that need to be considered such as; setting up a budget, sourcing the material, and more to cut costs. Before you start building your house here are five things to consider

1. Have you calculated all expenses?

Building your own house not only takes time, but it also requires a considerable amount of money. On average, Australians fork out $306,885 in 2017 to build a new house. Consider the cost of the plot of land you need to purchase, design fees, planning permits, site works, cost blow-outs and more. There are also contributing factors that will affect your expenses such as the size of your house, quality of material, and the time frame which you want to complete the project.

2. Getting the right documentation

To make the process of building your house a legal one, it is important that you have the right documents. You will need to apply for a document such as a certificate of consent from the Building Practitioners’ Board, especially if your building specifications will exceed $16,000. Keep in mind that an owner-builder permit isn’t the same as a builder’s licence, but you will still be responsible for making sure that all sub-contractors are licensed and insured.

3. You need to hire qualified or you could end up with

Being a builder owner can help cut down costs of construction between 10 and 35%. However, things can go horribly wrong if you hire people who are not qualified. As a supervisor of your home building project, you will need to check that all the people you hire have a proven track record of building houses to ensure that your house will be built up to standard.

4. Consider your finance options

Taking out a home loan with a bank can be a bit trickier if you are an owner-builder, especially if you are not planning on using the services of a licensed builder. You may be able to borrow up to 60% of the land value plus constructions when taking out a loan with a bank. However, you could approach other lenders or brokers that will be able to provide you with a home loan that will be suitable for your finances and adequately cover your construction costs. Keep in mind that some lenders could break up the sum they pay out to you with each stage of the project than to pay out a lump sum.

5. Occupancy permits

You have finally brought your house to life and you are ready to move in. However, before you do so you must obtain an occupancy permit which is a stamp of approval that your house meets the health and safety requirements. An occupancy permit is issued by the Building Surveyor which will be your thumbs up to move in.

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