Do you know how to get an owner builders building permit?

Building your own project as an owner builder is an exciting venture. But it is one that comes with a whole lot of rules, regulations, pressures and potential headaches.

The first thing you need is a building permit issued by a Building Surveyor. Not a planning permit (although this may be required from council). And in order to get a building permit there are a number of things you need to find out and put in place.

Get the building permit process right from the beginning so that you can concentrate on what really matters – getting your project built.

What is an owner builder?

Good question. You don’t have to physically build your project to be an owner builder. You are an owner builder if you carry out building work on your land. The amount of work you do yourself and the amount you contract out will affect your levels of responsibility. Generally, if you are a registered builder and you build on your own property you do not fall into the category of owner builder.

Why a Building Surveyor should be one of the first people you call

The main reason is that you need one in order to get a building permit. But there is more to it. No-one knows more about the rules and regulations of building than a good Building Surveyor. It’s a highly regulated industry and we are living in extremely regulated times. Being without vital information about building regulations could bring your project to a grinding halt at any step in the process.

Your responsibilities as an owner builder include:

  • Appointing a Building Surveyor
  • Obtaining permits and ensuring they remain current (such as building permit, town planning permit, septic permits and occupancy permit)
  • Carrying out building work
  • Supervising contractors who carry out work for you
  • Ensuring the work meets building regulation standards and complies with all relevant legislation
  • Arranging for building inspections as required by law, etc


As you can see, many of your responsibilities involve building regulations, legislation and permits. All of these things are much more easily managed if you have a Building Surveyor as part of your team right from the very beginning.

Building Surveyors cannot act in a supervisory role on your project or work site. But they can act in an advisory and consultancy role and this is an area that is a unique specialty of KWA. Read more about our ongoing consulting services.

Contact KWA before you commence any significant work or planning of your project to make sure you get things right first time.