More and more kit home owners across Australia are deciding to don the hard hat and oversee or take an active part in the construction of their own homes. It is to be expected too – it’s affordable and more flexible than pre-built homes.
Defining the Kit Home Owner-Builder
A kit home owner-builder is very broadly defined as an individual who either supervises or coordinates the work being done to his or her own house, or any part thereof. This includes the actual construction as well as repairs and alterations to the structure.
While no license is required for very minor tasks in and around the home, state law determines that an owner-builder permit is required where the amount of work done, combined with the materials exceed a certain market value. These amounts vary from state to state, but in most cases reflect a labour-material market value of $12,000.
Greater Financial Flexibility as the Owner-Builder of a Kit home
More and more individuals are opting to take on the role of owner-builder. This can, in part, be attributed to the fact that a kit home is not only the more affordable choice, but more flexible too; you can build when the money or the requirement is there, which means the incurred debts can be substantially less than with a conventional home. This is a substantial benefit, especially for those who want a bit more control over their money.
However, with all the financial benefits come a bit of responsibility too. As an owner-builder the onus is on you to ensure that all state-wide regulations are adhered to. This includes:
- Obtaining all relevant permits and approvals
- Complying with the regulations of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 and Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000.
- Creating and maintaining a safe work environment
- Employing licensed and insured contractors
- Ordering materials and ensuring that they are of an acceptable quality (after all, it is your house)
- Ensuring that the final structure created is sound of structure and fit to live in
It’s pretty basic and provides you with the necessary protection to ensure a job well done.
How can You Become an Owner-Builder?
Let’s take a quick look at the advantages of being an owner builder again:
Save money: You oversee the entire project, choose and arrange the materials and employ only those individuals that you need to (or that you can afford).