What is an owner-builder?

If you are thinking about owner-building your own home or small commercial building, you will need to have been granted owner-builder approval from the Building Services Board before you can be granted a building permit from your local government authority.

Owner-builder approvals can only be issued to individuals and not to corporate bodies or trusts.

Owner-builders can carry out the following types of building work on their property:

  • Construct a detached dwelling, including a granny flat.
  • Carry out additions and alterations to an existing dwelling.
  • Construct a non-habitable building such as a private garage, carport, shed or the like.
  • Construct or make additions and alterations to small commercial building – being a one or two storey building with a floor space of less than 500m2 that is not a detached house, Class 10 building or farm building.

To obtain an owner-builder approval you must:

  • be the owner of the land; or
  • be leasing the land and have the owner’s written agreement to undertake building work; or
  • have an interest as purchaser under a contract to purchase the land.


  • intend to either reside, occupy or use the land on which the building work is to be carried out when the building work is completed.


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