Owner-Builder New Rules

Owner-Builder New Rules

From 1st September 2016 significant changes to owner builder requirements when domestic building work is carried out on your own land. The new owner builder rules for when project values exceed $16,000 have been tightened. In fact there is no change to concept that as an owner builder you must adhere to the same rules, regulations as an employed contractor more so government is now trying to pick up “their lack of enforcement and effort” by this new process to apply for VBA consent.

This change will do nothing for those who elect to build illegally, largely due to the enormous red tape and complexity, engineered by our loving bureaucrat’s and politicians. This area remains largely untouched including ensuring complexity remains.

So what does new rules mean:

The VBA web site advises “

An owner-builder it is your responsibility for obtaining building permits, supervising or undertaking the building work, and ensuring the work meets building regulations and standards.

“In Victoria, an owner-builder can only build or renovate one house every five years and must intend to live in the house once completed.

Some of the obligations of an owner-builder last for six and a half years after completion of the building work.

In some instances, an owner-builder’s property may become a workplace for the purposes of Occupational Health and Safety legislation and then certain obligations will apply.

If the value of the domestic building work to be undertaken is more than $16,000 you must have a certificate of consent from the VBA to be an owner-builder”

So whilst above unclear in regards the some instances, owner builders will find it frustrating to get a straight answer from VBA , council’s and anyone else, clearly the above place responsibility on the owner builder to ensure work undertaken is considered prior to proceeding.

“As Owner-builders you have a number of important duties and responsibilities.”

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Obtaining and complying with a building permit;
  • Arranging for the certification of completed work and ensuring that the work is compliant with Australian standards;
  • Ensuring site and worker safety;
  • Rectifying any defective building work;
  • Ensuring appropriate insurance policies are in place
  • you must complete an eLearning assessment before you can submit your application for a certificate of consent to become an owner-builder.
  • Attach evidence of the White Card issued by WorkSafe Victoria if required.
  • Application fee currently is $96.18.

So if electing not to employ a registered builder for projects above $16,000 then the above apply.

For projects below $16,000 some of the above not required such as obtaining VBA consent however, in principal, all other requirements remain in place.

When considering undertaking a building project consider following:-

  • Obtain professional advice from council, building surveyor or registered practitioner with knowledge of the project your undertaking.
  • Ensure you obtain a building permit.
  • Ensure you begin your planning well before your required completion date. This includes undertaking plans and permit applications well before your need to complete project.
  • Ensure you obtain a white card, as any problems on site remain your responsibility to prepare for including insurance and processes such as safety considerations.

White Card – there seems to be different views of what to do Worksafe advise (link) and other’s including whitecardonline advise (link) another view. Certainly industry associations including Master Builders and HIA have solutions for courses. Certainly the rogu trainers have even more ways. Its difficult to confirm the best process here but suggest get VBA to confirm their requirements clearly in writing.

At The Project Centre we can assist with your plan and permit needs and reviewing likely timeframes for getting your permits and consents prepared by. For details on owner-builder requirements the VBA is the department to confirm their actual requirements.This link to VBA web site will provide great information concerning this subject. 

 

 

 

Planning and Subdivision Fees Review – Oct 2016

Planning and Subdivision Fees Review – October 2016victoria-future

The Victorian Government have released information concerning significant increases to a range of fees in their Planning and Subdivision Fees Review. The stating that council costs to deliver services and fact that successive governments have failed to review fee’s for 12 years have therefor allowed this Victorian Labor Government to increase the many fee’s by approx.150% or more.

The introduction of a new fee structure for dwelling under $10,000 demonstrate lack of any real awareness to costs (I would love a house built for under $10,000) and continues the inefficiency of the department and its administration of regulations to the detriment of the public. Simply can’t believe they think this category square things up. Really?

The following link to proposed fee’s can be found here

Planning and Subdivision Fees Review

A few snap shot review of a few classic segments of planning developments:

Developments – single dwelling development and  also used for extensions and projects like Verandahs, Sheds and garages

  • Up to $100K        Was $239 Proposed $592 Increase $352 or 147% Increase
  • $100K to $500K  Was $490 Proposed $1213 Increase $723 or  147% Increase

Some new levels are introduced. Sneaky new fee’s not discussed.

  • $500K to $1 Million Was $490 Proposed $1310 Increase $820 or 167% Increase
  • $1Million to 2 Million Was $490 Proposed $1408 Increase $918 or 187% Increase

Amendments to Permits had fee such as listed below

  • $0 to $10,000 Nil
  • $10,000 to $100,000 $239
  • $100,000+ $490

Proposed is now a complicated calculation which is sure to cause significant and unnecessary confusion and costs for owners wanting small extensions or additions to a lot which already has a planning permit and therefore requires that permit to be amended. It is unclear what they proposed to charge but it could be classed under schedule attached.

Amend an existing planning permit – 75% of fee applicable to the original permit class plus the difference in fees if the amendment moves the permit into a different class. The lowest fee starts at $1080 but will they charge 75% of this or the original development cost. Even if at lower end the increase is

  • $0 to $10,000             Was $ Nil    Proposed $810 Increase $810
  • $10,000 to $100,000  Was $239  Proposed $810 Increase $571 Increase 239%
  • $100,000+                  Was $490  Proposed $810 Increase $320 Increase 65%

Lack of a community and business opportunity, and therefore critical response, will ensure Labor Government, who have demonstrated no real care for consumer consultation (our company was asked only 2 weeks ago but no indication of proposed fee’s were provided), to smash consumers with this exceptionally unrealistic increase based on their previous and continued incompetence is wrong. Strong words but true.

I do feel sorry for council planning staff, at the coal face, with the negative responses they will need to field over the coming months. Somewhat feel the same for our company who initially have to advise a client’s first then take the negative flak or the cancellation.

Summary,

I was expecting change and my first thoughts were

  1. It was wrong that fee’s were not raised yearly similar to the building & other government department. But why had they not? But rise then by 147% Really?
  2. It is true current fee’s do not cover costs fee’s needed to be raised. But is this the right and responsible way?
  3. It is true significant numbers of time wasting applications are triggered for no real public advantage. Why no real significant change particularly to NIL impact projects cluttering the system.
  4. It is true some fee’s are realistic for some more complicated projects but many are not particularly class 10 projects and small dwelling extensions.
  5. it is also true that the government has such lack of transparency, just look at the infrastructure issues, CFA and rail development for other examples that no reasonable consultation with industry was undertaken to those who deal with the consumer. Either that or our association BDAV have failed us building designers and our clients.

The new fee’s will ensure consumers will continue pay for lack of real planning improvement or desire for improvement which successive governments, Labor or Liberal, have simply failed in their elected duties and the Planning Department who seem to have no grasp on their duty.

If your not happy consult your local member I’m sure they will provide the applicable lip service do not blame the council staff or my staff we don’t make the fees.

We, at The Project Centre hope this information will assist those consumers with understanding some of the associated unseen costs of building within Victoria.

Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools and Spas) Regulations 2016

Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools & Spas) Regulations 2016

The continued raft of building regulation changes continues with latest directed to pool-regsdomestic pools and spas. One concern we have also seen is the lack of attention to just when a pool project is finished and therefore we have seen pools and spas in full operation but without proper fencing completed. Generally  we have not be had anything to do with pool project but find ourselves now dealing with the non-completion. Essentially the pool companies and home owners have been employing the extended period of completion related to normal building to give a window of not completing the pool enclosure.

“The new rules appears fair and reasonable to us.”

The Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools and Spas) Regulations 2016 (S.R. No. 104/2016) will come into effect on 3rd October 2016. These reduce red-tape by aligning the completion periods for building work relating to a swimming pool or spa and any associated barrier or safety equipment with the completion period for other building work that is being carried out concurrently on an allotment.

From 3 October 2016, building permits issued for the construction of a swimming pool or spa may reflect the completion date of other building work being carried out concurrently on the same allotment. When calculating the completion date, the RBS should only consider building permits that are in force at the time that the building permit for the construction of the swimming pool or spa is issued.

For a copy of proposed change: Link to government regulation here

So keep your property safe this summer and ensure you know what your obligations are as pools and spas. Small kids simply don’t mix well unattended and unfenced pool areas so get your fences done sooner to enjoy your pool and spas.

New Building Act 1993 changes July 4, 2016

2016 Changes to the Building Act 1993

Victorian Building AuthorityEvery year we find adjustment changes to varies matters now under the control via Victorian Building Authority for Building Act and associated entities such as Plumbing, Architectural, Owners Builders and more.

As the VBA web site states “Changes have been made to the VBA’s powers and functions under the Building Act 1993. Some of these changes may affect your rights and duties under the law.”

This section of the VBA website holds information about:

  • how these changes relate to you as a building practitioner, building surveyor or owner-builder
  • when the changes come into effect
  • what will be different when the changes come into effect, and
  • any specific things that apply during the transition to the new laws.

The link will take you to main site whereby you may web surf to area of most interest to you. Follow the Changes to Building Act 1993.

owner builderWe see certain strengthening of powers and a further layering of checking and cross checking ensuring the industries inefficiency remains without much progress towards any real reform or a balancing between planning and building or review of the changing size of lots and consumer requirements.
Some new powers will hopefully maintain a striding towards removing from industry of cowboys but I see significant many good guys hurt and frightened away in the meantime.

Owner Builders –

Owner Builders will now need to better realise the issues of “being the owner builder” as the rules are the same for all and the playing field will be inspected regularly.

This will make being an owner builder more of a chore, cost will rise significantly and especially for those real small projects such as a verandah and deck. The current status is one rule for all so all building and small project documentation and requirements now the same totally as a new dwelling.

One good change is the need to get VBA consent has risen to $16,000. This amount to me remains to low for both owner builder consent requirement plus also for need to get Home Owners Warranty Insurance. Both should be more around $25,000 so the small “addon” building ie:class 10b, is not over burdened by cost and regulation.

Building Plans

The new minimum plan requirements are being enforced. These are more of an enforcement of the rules that actual new rules but, by placing significant pressure on all building surveyors to ensure documentation for big or small are the same, then time and cost will kick in for small projects as never before.
As Building Drafting company we get it and understand fully the issues but our customers might not be so understanding. We worry many more will roll the dice on avoiding the undertaking of getting a building permit due to cost and red tape increasing.
Simply many old plans do not have the level of detail required today even for a verandah. So getting that detail, even getting the old plans (as often council records poor although now improving due to digital age) then producing plans for small class 10b projects to the standard now required will be more time consuming and will bring with that extra costs.
Politically it will be a time bomb but for now its reality. It needs proper reform for this sector.
Link to what’s required here VBA Practise Note Building Plans Documentation
We at The Project Centre – Narre Warren and a member of the BDAV, are specialists in Class 10b building with over 20 years ImagesBDAV-LOGO.jpgexperience in projects such as garages, carport’s, verandahs, deck’s and other external “add-on” extensions or out buildings. We know whats required and can help you your project.

Contact Us

Head Office – Beaconsfield
Floor 1, Office 1,  70 Old Princes Highway
Beaconsfield Vic. 3807  Phone: (BH) (03) 9769 3517

Casey Cardinia – Peoples Choice Award

Casey Cardinia – Peoples Choice Awardcasey cardinia business awards

This year The Project Centre – Narre Warren has been nominated for the Peoples Choice award for the Casey Cardinia Business Awards. We’re not sure who nominated us but thanks for who did consider us a worthy participant.

peoples choice awardOne nomination is all it takes to shine a light on an outstanding business!

Well so they say. The Project Centre has been providing both Retail services via our timber and hardware yard in Vesper Drive Narre Warren for 20 years up to 6 years ago, and since the closing of that retail yard, we have maintained and concentrated on Architectural Drafting and Building Service which specialises in Dwellings, Renovations and particularly Verandah, Decks, Carports and Garages for both builders and Do it yourself owners.

Our recent opening in Beaconsfield seeing a second office now establishing itself.

“The People’s Choice award provides you the opportunity to vote from nominated businesses. This Award is a separate voting system and it does not require an application form. Unlike all other category awards, The People’s Choice Award is not judged but decided by popular vote by you the public!”

So I guess those of you who have used The Project Centre over the last 25 years might consider voting for us in these up and coming awards.

To vote for us follow this is the link Peoples Choice Award

Owner Builder – New Building Act Changes from 4th July 2016

Owner Builder – New Building Act Changes from 4th July 2016

New Building Act Changes from 4th July 2016

New changes will come into effect for all building in Victoria from July 4th 2016. Whilst here has been a range of information leaking into the industry like all government act’s these come into effect regardless of consequence once released.vba logo

If planning to prepare yourself for a project particularly if an “owner builder” then ensure you read these new changes.

There’s good and bad and quite a few items to digest but two standouts are:

Good

Consent level raised from $12,000 to $16,000 when you need to get VBA consent to be an owner builder of your project. This will allow a reasonable small project to be considered prior to VBA approval being required.

“Remember you must be able to confirm and qualify your expected  project costs when applying for a permit”.

Bad

Owner Builders are on notice their projects will have the same scrutiny and inspections as any builder. So preparation, site conditions and have the correct compliant trades never been more important.

Higher level of Permit review with significant requirements on Surveyors to ensure they have all the correct documentation to enable them issue and administer a building permit.

I advise email advice we received…

Building Act changes that may affect you

The Victorian Government has made changes to the VBA’s powers and functions under the Building Act 1993. Some of these changes may affect your obligations under the law.

You can find all the information about how these changes relate to your work as a building practitioner generally, owner builder or a building surveyor specifically, by visiting the dedicated pages of the VBA website.

The first set of changes comes into effect on 4 July 2016. They include:

  • the extension of the VBA’s inspection powers to owner-built sites
  • new offences for undertaking work without a building permit
  • changes to powers to issue directions, notices and orders
  • a requirement on private building surveyors not to act where there is a conflict of interest
  • provision of a checklist for use by relevant building surveyors lodging building permits to councils

Further changes will be introduced in stages until July 2017.

What’s the best Louver Roof Verandah?

What’s the best Louvre Roof Verandah?Open and closing Louver Roof

What’s the best Louvre Roof Verandah question is difficult to answer without each manufacturer passionately suggesting theirs is the best louver roof system. The real answer is probably related more to your overall expectations of durability, weather resistant factors, visual project design’s outcome and finally price. I will review some  items that to me on balance should be considered.

Durability – this will relate to both blade and to the opening roof system – motor and general mechanism. Heavily debatable but my experience on blade systems is that aluminum blades do provide best durable outcomes certainly around seaside applications where rust could become an issue. Aluminum although often more expensive to colorbond blade options should provide greater durability, span options and performance if installed correctly.

Louvre Blades – Two louver types seem to occupy the opening and closing louver roof market – Colorbond or Aluminum. Check that warranties include a minimum 10-year warranty and that local maintenance options are available. Clearly nobody wants a problem but worse if no local dealer available to attend to any problem arising. Some have stainless steel and aluminum pins and connections which should also ensure greater durability.

Colorbond – generally a two piece pressed blade with foam within the core.

Cons

  • Less robust than aluminum options and subject to rust.
  • Colour options are also restricted but main options normally available.
  • Often at the cheaper end of the market.

Plus’s

  • Generally Cheaper

Aluminum – Generally a solid robust louver with powder coated or anodized finishes.

Cons

  • Often dearer than colorbond

Plus’s

  • Colour options are not restricted with stunning wood grain options available.
  • Performance normally more predictable.
  • More blade style choices
  • Greater span options
  • Easy to maintainOpening and closing roof

Louvre Opening Systems – As louver roof systems have now been around for over 20 years you will find most manufacturers have systems that will do the job of opening and closing your roof. Certainly some systems can be much more complicated and therefore expensive to purchase, install and maintain. Check your warranty options to ensure minimum 3 years for electrical and what components might be subject to ongoing maintenance.

“A main difference may be speed of opening, amount they will open and noise related to movement of louver. A main issue might be the “opening capacity 90, 135 & 175 degree” as how much you can open your roof from closed can provide more light and shade options to the user”.

Most systems will offer a range of options

  • Rain sensor
  • Home cbus integration
  • Remote controls
  • Lighting & Blind integration

Weather Resistant – Although I have seen some reviews suggesting otherwise my own research and experience tells me most manufacturers can now provide great product performance when its raining.

“Certainly cloud burst or torrential rain might provide some abnormal issue’s, as with any roof, under most conditions the louver roof will perform for many years if installed correctly”.

Project Outcome – this relates not only to the actual “louver look” but also to the actual frame outcome. Having your project match or compliment your dwelling will ensure more compatibility and a better visual outcome. Pricing (cost) clearly comes into the equation however ensuring a compatible outcome will provide strong payback in terms of visual outcome and long-term durability. Frankly a closed louver will provide similar looks between one and another underneath by around the area is just as an important factor. The difference will be in the eye of the beholder but my suggestion is make a whole project decision not a one component decision. Therefore, ensure a reasonable weighting to frame construction and its looks should be 50% of your decision outcome.

General frame options (although not all manufacturers can offer these options) that can be considered include:

  • double bank ouver roofColorbond Steel Frame
  • Standard Steel – Painted
  • Aluminum
  • Timber
  • Rendered frames

Proven Service – having the capacity to have your opening and closing system serviced is a smart decision. Motors will grow old, component’s will ware and other factors arise that require rectification. Ensuring you pick long-term locally based distributors with some maintenance options will provide further peace of mind to your purchase.

Pricing – There can be many factors that make prices vary. Certainly I feel if you balance your needs with the needs of ongoing performance will ensure you consider the pricing option right for you. A couple of price and design price options should be considered to establish the price level of your verandah for you to consider.

Summary – What’s the best Louvre Roof Verandah, well not an easy answer but certainly there are a range of factors you now know what you might consider when deciding on your builder. Picking an established builder with direct experience in louver roofs who can provide you the design outcome, benefits, permits and price that’s right for you is probably the smartest decision of all.

Our Services – We at the Project Centre @ Beaconsfield or Hallam branches can provide you our significant experience in preparing the building plans and arranging all permits for your Louver Verandah project. Once you have decided who’s product you wish to use or just want some advice contact us to get your project underway.

Disclaimer: I do acknowledge my association as a director of Totally Outdoors one of Melbourne’s leading opening and closing roof builder’s. We believe our system ticks all the right boxes but I have tried to give you all the issues to consider where-ever you might reside and now the rest is up to you. Totally Outdoors – www.totallyoutdoors.com.au

Do Louver Roofs require a Building Permit?

Do Louver Roofs require a Building Permit is an often asked question by clients when considering building a project with a louver as the roof or the shade slat. The answer is not straight forward as what might appear and will depend upon exactly what the product is and usage the louver and function is performing.

Louver Options available:shade louver profile

Fixed Shade Louvers – often used to purely provide shade, privacy and ambience to the surrounds of a building. These typically are not directing water to a gutter and can be installed vertically and horizontally relative to the effect and outcome proposed.

Opening and Closing Louvers – often this more refers to roofing type outcomes bit certainly not always. Shutters could be viewed as a louver and often these used in window application for shade and privacy. As a roof it will depend if when closed the roof then directs water to a open and closed louver roof

gutter. Often roofing type louver might close to only 35 degrees and therefore not performing the task of a roof but more a shade slat outcome. If performing a closed roof application, a building permit will be required.

Do Louver Roofs require a Building Permit often more relates, not only to the applications referred to above, but also to fact that your “building a structure” with footings, connections to dwelling etc.

So the facts are:

Typically, most building will require a building permit. Long term benefits to obtaining a permit are significant and many but not least ensuring your money is protected via having an independent building surveyor involved ensuring your project is lawful and compliant.

Summary:

Pergolas (ie: Open, Slats (not closed), mesh) if under 20m2

No but Check – may not a building permit but check first your local council requirements for your home as some councils do require a permit due to location of site and other local considerations. If over 20m2 Yes – will require a building permit.

Fixed (any type) or Closed Louver roofs

Yes – will require building permit every time. Some local councils may also require planning permits as well for any building on your property (these requirements normally site specific).

Awnings – mesh or slatted

Not always but Check – awnings “fixed”, “retractable” or “louvers opening and closing” – if water proof directing water to a gutter or to ground and have structures will require a building permit. So best to check with your council if any restrictions or requirements need to be considered or approved before you build.

Building PermitOur experience particularly over the last few years is not getting a permit can be extremely costly and distressing.

We at The Project Centre – Narre Warren will be able to advise you once we know what you want, what else is on site, where precisely you wish project located and where you live. With this information we can assist you.

Given the many project variations, council and building code requirements and refinements we’re finding it increasing difficult to not be suggesting getting a building is required. Better safe than sorry. If it’s not required great. Often you might find that builder you believed in may become strangely very unavailable and generally unregistered and unwilling to assist.

Whilst permits can add a significant cost they may be just worthwhile to ensure your project is not required to be removed or amended (ie: costly further works or approvals) plus the general cost’s to gain compliance that are “not less than double” the normal costs of a permit.

  • Note: A planning permit only provides the information to a building surveyor that if all the building plans reflect the planning permit stamped plans and approval requirements and the associated building information documentation is correct that building surveyor can proceed with issuing a building permit.

Pergola’s attached to your dwelling

Quote

Pergola’s attached to your dwelling

Providing a pergola attached to your dwelling can benefit your home by providing some handy shade benefit’s plus useful ambience to your outdoor area..pergola attached to dwelling

This relative simple sun screen styled pergola is located on the western side of an East Brighton bayside home in Melbourne. On what was a “hot side of dwelling” the slatted pergola was incorporated into a long structure to outdoor paved area. Being filtered light ensured home during the winter would not be too shaded or dark.

With a louver roof located down one end to provide shelter from rain plus light upon demand. This benefit from louver roofs to be “opened or closed” when required. The louvers also providing a similar slatted appearance (when open) but with verandah roof protection for rain when closed.

The extended pergola structure featuring the partially slatted pergola. This area was designed to provide filtered shade to dwelling walls and windows to “cool” the house on hot summer days plus a wonderful ambience to area.

“This pergola and verandah project was designed and constructed by Totally Outdoors used extremely durable merbau hardwood timber for frame and slat’s to provide sensational visual appeal and performance. Another design feature is the extended design of an open frame beyond the slats portion to create space rather than crowd the walkway to external sitting area.”

Mixing up your outdoor area with varied types of covering is just another thought when planning your outdoor area.

The Project Centre assisted with design and provided plans and permits for this project. Contact us when requiring professional design outcome’s and permits for your outdoor area.

Illegal Building Works

Illegal Building – Think again

complaintIn now over 40 years of supplying, designing and being involved with the  building industry the cost to the home owner of being found with illegal works (building or structure) has never been greater. Roll the dice or better still we recommend think again and then again before proceeding without a building permit.

In years past quick fixes have been allowed whereby if building or structure might have been considered by Municipal Building Surveyor as somehow acceptable or minor through undertaking either minor further works –under building permit or compliance via designers and engineer’s was enough. Often cost was low and the world went on.

Today things are vastly different. With so many more building & planning controls and careful enforcement of every dot and T within the Building code has made enhanced requirements the minimum standard. This includes requirements of full building plans, engineering, all applicable council or government approvals, building surveyor review and compliance reports etc. etc., depending upon the project. Even from our perspective our involvement and requirements from client double and triple to find a way to get existing project “over the line”. Our fee is generally twice or three times what is normal for the same project if done prior to building.

Often now pulling down the project is valued under say $20K might be the solution as the minimum cost to gain compliance could be well over $8000.

We find ourselves recommending starting again as the reasonable outcome hard to say and ofter even harder to hear. With normal permit and plans generally under $2K for say a verandah or a shed / garage., Why we might recommend to pull down – if any further works required such as reducing area, significant modification of building method, applying for approvals after the event with no guarantee of outcome isn’t a great starting point and outcome not always assured. Roll the dice or start again always a hard call.

What to do when building a structure – any structure.

Building PermitOur suggestion is “get a building permit”.

Its that simple. The stories of significant cost or heartbreak abound. Most won’t tell you what happened or what it cost to retain their extension, carport, retaining wall or verandah. Illegal building become a secret and a problem best kept to themselves and I do understand why.

At present I have a client who is rebuilding the whole project with costs and fee’s in excess of $8K just to see what can be done and to get a permit plus and this the killer now the cost to remove and replace. Simply it will cost $25 to $30K more than it should have.

So think again and get a permit first and don’t trust the builders word. Seek out and discuss with a registered building surveyor to confirm if your project needs a building permit.

Builder’s without Registrationregistered builder

To undertake a project above a cost of $5K a builder he or she must be registered. By choosing a registered builder provide owner’s with a level of confidence the builder has demonstrated to government competence and experience plus financially viable to undertake projects back by insurance safety net.

What type of Builder – A registered Builder either DBU xxxxxx or BD-Lxxxxxx

There are different levels and types of building registration. When getting your permit, the building surveyor checks this out for you prior to issuing a permit. This assist’s with ensuring the builder is registered, insured and qualified to undertake your project. Also ensure your builder and their registration noted on your permit application.

If project exceeds $16K in Victoria – home owner insurance is required if employing a builder.

Can I be the Builder

In Victoria, an “owner builder” you can undertake a project if under $12 without building authority consent (if above $12K then consent required). But you still need a building permit. Not just a Planning permit which some owners get confused by.

A Sad StoryUnfair

A client recently trusted the tradesman (as noted above) and it went like this

Builder – “Oh you don’t need a permit for this project”

Owner – “Oh that’s great when can you start because your $3K cheaper”

but look what they have left them. $25K+ extra because work was not only done without permit but was not done correctly. Clear visual deterioration of works within 12 months and now needs full rebuild to comply plus also expensive compliance and investigative work undertaken to try and save work done or as was the case reveal the worst case – full rebuild. These matter plus council work works and notices threaten different outcomes. It’s a disaster.

Can We help You Now!

Yes – The Project Centre does undertake coordinated building design of illegal building matters for domestic & industrial projects and can assist with process based on our prior experience in a range of projects.

Frankly however we would prefer to meet you prior to building and assist with getting the right design and outcome for you.

Summary

Do things once and get it right this include getting building permits for all structural works. Yes, I also feel system not perfect. Certainly more costly for small home projects than it should be and could be vastly improved but the its cheapest and safest way forward is be getting a building permit first and this will not change.