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Owner-builders are able to carry out restricted building work (RBW) on their own home.

You are an owner-builder if you: 

  • live in or are going to live in the home (includes a bach or holiday home) 
  • carry out the RBW on your own home yourself, or with the help of your unpaid friends and family members, and 
  • have not, under the owner-builder exemption, carried out RBW to any other home within the previous 3 years.


DIY work

Most DIY (do-it-yourself) work is usually minor repair, maintenance or alteration work, and doesn’t fall within the category of RBW. For this work nothing has changed and homeowners can continue to do this work as they always have.

RBW is work that requires a building consent and relates to the primary structure of your home, or affects its weathertightness. Building work that is in the RBW category must only be done by or under the supervision of LBPs, unless you are using the owner-builder exemption. If you are a suitably skilled owner-builder and meet the criteria above, you can carry out this work, but if you have any doubts you are recommended to hire an LBP to do this critical building work.

An owner-builder is responsible for ensuring that RBW carried out under the owner-builder exemption complies with the building consent and the relevant plans and specifications.

As the owner-builder family members and friends can help you with the RBW to your home, as long as you are not paying them to help you.

Future buyers will have access to information that shows the building work was carried out by the owner rather than an LBP.


Using the owner-builder exemption

Before you can use the owner-builder exemption you need a written declaration showing that you meet the owner-builder criteria. Statutory declaration as to owner-builder status. 

The statutory declaration form has to be witnessed and signed by a Justice of the Peace or someone else authorised by law do so. This form needs to be given to your local council with your application for a building consent, or before the construction of RBW on your home starts.

It is an offence under the Crimes Act 1961 to give false information in a Statutory Declaration, and it is also an offence under the Building Act 2004 to give false information.

Your local council can give you more information on the owner-builder exemption.

Legislative detail can be viewed at:
Building Act 2004 


Last updated 14 June 2013