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An owner-builder is a person authorised to do owner-builder work under a permit issued by NSW Fair Trading.

An Owner-Builder Permit allows people who have the skill or capacity to build their own house or supervise construction by coordinating sub-contractors.

You will need an Owner-Builder Permit if:

  1. you want to supervise, coordinate or do building work on your home that is worth more than $10,000 (including labour and materials), and you have decided not to use a licensed builder
  2. the work relates to a single-dwelling house, dual occupancy (in special circumstances) or a secondary dwelling that requires development consent with a Development Application or a Complying Development Certificate.

Although an Owner-Builder Permit is not a builder's licence, as the owner-builder you are responsible for the building work - just like a licensed builder would be.

You must provide your principal certifier with a copy of your Owner-Builder Permit before the start of your building work.


Find out everything you need to know about becoming an owner-builder with our flowchart of the owner-builder process:

More information

You can find more information on the NSW Government Fair Trading website, including answers to these questions and topics about becoming an owner-builder:

  • what is owner-builder work?
  • should I do owner-builder work?
  • do I need an Owner-Builder Permit?
  • how do I get an Owner-Builder Permit?
  • what are my limitations under the permit?
  • what are my responsibilities?
  • construction approval
  • using licensed tradespeople
  • contracts
  • compulsory home building compensation cover and other insurances
  • handling disputes.

We can help you

For more information, contact our Development Help Desk: