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Owner Builder Permit

An owner-builder permit is for people who have the skills and capacity to build their own house and/or supervise construction work. While an owner-builder permit is not a builder’s licence, as an owner-builder, you are responsible for the building work as a fully licensed builder would be.

Owner-builder work is identified as any work, including supervision and coordination of construction, alterations, repairs or additions to a property:

  • where the cost (including labour and materials) exceeds $10,000, and
  • which relates to a single dwelling-house, dual occupancy* or a secondary dwelling that:
    • requires development consent under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, or
    • is a complying development within the meaning of that Act

*an owner-builder permit will only be issued regarding a dual occupancy in cases special circumstances 

As an owner-builder, you are responsible for:

  • overseeing and supervising all tradespeople
  • ordering materials and managing the building site
  • obtaining all necessary council and authority approvals
  • ensuring that the financial, taxation and insurance requirements of the building work are met and fully comply with all laws
  • being aware of your obligations under the Workers Compensation Act 1987 and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to provide a safe work environment that complies with SafeWork NSW requirements. Significant penalties may apply if you don’t meet this obligation. Our dealing with hazardous materials page has more information on some possible risks, such as asbestos and lead
  • ensuring any contractor engaged is appropriately licensed and insured to do the work contracted for
  • warranting that the materials and work will be fit for the purpose and result in a dwelling that can be occupied.

To get an owner-builder permit, you must lodge an owner-builder permit application, there are 2 ways to do this:

  • online using the online application form and process
  • in person at a Service NSW centre. Appointments will be necessary. 

When lodging your application form you must also attach copies of the following documents, together with proof of identity requirements and the owner-builder permit application fee:

  • evidence of ownership or a registered lease with Land and Property Information
  • development consent (development application (DA) approval or complying development certificate (CDC) approval) from a certifying authority (council or private certifier) for the subject building site
  • a current general construction induction training card (within the meaning of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011), also referred to as Safework Whitecard or a Safework Statement of Training
  • if the work is over $20,000 in value, evidence that you have met the owner-builder education requirement
  • all other owners of the land for which an owner-builder permit may apply must also be listed – these other owners will not be able to apply for another owner-builder permit relating to different land for 5 years.


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