Owner building

Your responsibilities as an owner builder

It’s important that you understand your responsibilities and obligations as an owner builder. It will help to ensure that your project runs to plan.

What you must do

Follow the conditions of your permit
  • You must only carry out work covered in the permit
  • Anyone you engage to carry out building work must be a licensed contractor
  • You can’t perform any occupational work such as plumbing, draining, gasfitting or pest control unless you have an occupational licence
  • You must have the appropriate licence to perform any fire protection work higher than $1,100.
Display an owner builder sign

Before work starts, you must display a sign on your site. Failure to do so could mean a fine.

It 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 50mm high.
Supervise

You need to maintain quality control and oversee the standards of workmanship on your site.

You are also responsible for carrying out safe work practices. See Workplace Health and Safety (Qld) for more information.

Dealing with problems on site

Defective work

We can’t help you resolve any issues if you get into a dispute with your contractor over defective work. You need to manage any problems with your contractors’ work yourself, including paying to rectify any defective work, or completing unfinished work.

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

Payment and contract issues

If you and your contractor have a disagreement over payment or any of the conditions of the contract, you’ll need to get legal advice.

Be aware that 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 BCIPA information for owner builders (PDF) for further information.