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Owner Builder Responsibilities

You are responsible for ensuring all building work is properly carried out.

Conditions of your permit

As the owner builder:

  • you must only carry out work covered in the permit
  • anyone you engage to carry out building work must be a licensed contractor
  • you must have an occupational licence, such as, plumbing, draining, gas fitting or pest control, to perform any occupational work yourself
  • you must have a fire protection licence to perform any fire protection work yourself, where the value is higher than $1,100.

Site signage

You must display an owner builder sign on your site before you carry out any owner builder work. Your sign must:

  • be clearly visible from the street
  • show your owner builder permit number
  • be made of weatherproof material
  • be at least half a square metre in size
  • be printed in letters at least 5cm high.

You can be fined if a sign is not displayed.


As an owner builder you can’t take out QBCC's Home Warranty insurance.

If you engage a licensed contractor to carry out owner builder work covered in the permit, the contractor must not pay an insurance premium to QBCC. If the contractor paid an insurance premium to QBCC for the owner builder work, in error, the work is still uninsurable.

If a licensed contractor does insurable work NOT included under the permit the contractor must pay a premium for that work.

Site supervision

As the owner builder, you are responsible for supervising any work carried out under your owner builder permit. You must maintain quality control and standards of workmanship on your site.

You are also responsible for ensuring contractors comply with safe work practices. You should contact Workplace Health and Safety (Qld) if you are unsure of these responsibilities.

Defective Work

As an owner builder, you are head contractor and responsible for ensuring any work carried out under the owner builder permit:

  • meets all relevant building codes and standards and
  • is done according to the plans and specifications.

QBCC cannot help you with any defective work or dispute problems. You must personally manage any problems with your contractors’ work, including paying to rectify any defective work or completing unfinished work.

You could apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) or seek independent legal advice for some assistance.

Payment and Contractual Problems

We cannot help owner builders with payment or other contractual issues.

However, if you don’t pay your subcontractors and suppliers, they can use the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA) to resolve their payment dispute. See Information for owner builders on the BCIPA website, for further information.


If you want to sell the property within six years of completing the owner builder work, you must give any potential buyer a ‘notice of owner builder work’ before they sign the contract of sale. The notice must provide details about the owner builder work and include this warning: "Warning - the building work to which this notice relates is not covered by insurance under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991".

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
9/01/2014 3:11 PM

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