Welcome to the July edition of KHB Ezine.
Owner building legal issues and red tape
Early PS: if you are reading this on a phone, turn it sideways to enable landscape view, it's easier to read.
This is an overview of the red tape you will be required to cover off as an owner builder. I need you to take a deep breath and understand this summary, rather than view it as a deterrent. It is all a process that can be worked through and accomplished, as long as you play by the rules. Believe me, I've done it a few times. As I don't live everywhere, I will speak to my own red tape battles in my own district as an example.
These items may not be in chronological order, depending on how you approach your project.
Trying to find out about this five acre parcel of land before I bought it, ie due diligence, was frustrating. Planning officers would not offer specific information unless I submitted a proforma request for information along with a $50 fee, for each question. All land in NSW, required a Planning Permit, which stated under what circumstances a construction permit would be approved. Complicated, as the permit didn't mention a
Koala corridor that restricted our house placement and site clearing. It did mention the site was bush fire prone and was subject to tree preservation statutes. Check these documents closely before you buy.
The epitome of red tape, my DA had 12 submissions to complete, compile, draw and or obtain. All submissions had proforma downloaded from the council website with plenty of explanatory info. It took me three months to finish to submittable standard. I needed a clearing and environmental impact plan, bush fire provisions and plan, house plan, foundation design plan with soil reports, Basix (building sustainability) commitments, waste (rubbish) management plan, waste water (septic) management plan, shed plan, driveway application and site survey. I describe these submissions in detail in my ebook 'Steel Yourself'. See below for details on how to get it.
Trade worker red tape
All trade workers need to be
registered and provide a copy of their indemnity insurance. They also need to provide proof of how they will comply with WHS regulations such as using safety equipment or gantries.
This is full to the brim with red tape and, in my opinion, can be mostly avoided by not hiring and doing it solo! Some of the red tape includes paying correct award wages including penalty rates and overtime, calculating and withholding tax, calculating and submitting superannuation, paying work-cover premiums, WHS training, providing personal protective gear and maintaining good records about all of the above.
These ones were somewhat frustrating as they were reliant on each other, in a circular way. So finding the correct starting point was the key. To get a building (construction permit) I needed an owner builders permit. To get an owner builders permit I needed to do the online training and, have my Development
Application approved. The clearing and driveway permit came with the Development Approval.
Trade work and building certificates
To achieve successful building inspections I needed certificates for plumbing, electrical, waterproofing, gas install, glazing (windows), and showerglass install. I also needed a truss certificate, frame engineering, slab engineering and my Basix energy outcomes.
Insurances were required for the build including Construction Insurance, and site Public Liability.
General red tape
Selling my owner built home has limitations, which are different everywhere you go. Some states require a builders warranty, others won't allow them for OB's, and require a rider in the sales contract that states it was owner built, and the OB is personally liable for 7 years after initial occupation. Check your own authority before considering selling.
Most states stipulate a minimum
number of years before another owner builder permit can be gained: typically six or seven years.
Best of luck with your Red Tape.
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