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Australian Owner Builders Factsheet 46 AOBFS46

The options available are varied and everyone building should understand them. Owner building, design & tender, project builder, off the plan, lock up building.

The choices of how to build are limited
Understanding the options will help you make the right decision

Discerning home builders are always looking for ways of getting more and paying less. The fear is, as always, how do I cut costs and not get ripped off? Another conundrum is where to go to obtain all the alternatives.

A trip to the local council will get you some answers as to planning and building regulations, but little or no advice as to the different methods available to the occupier builder or renovator. Government departments have a lot of practical information on how to prepare for the project, the rules and regulations and contract information, but if you want to discuss your options, whom can you talk to?

Building Options
But what if you decide the owner building option is not for you? What are the alternatives and how do I get the information? For anyone contemplating a new construction or renovation project, unless you have an understanding of your building options, it is difficult to know which of building alternative is best for you. Your experience, time availability and willingness to take on new skills all come into play.

The options available are varied and everyone building should understand them:

  • Owner Building
  • Design & Tender
  • Project Builder
  • Off the plan
  • Lock up building

All of the options have elements unique to their process. Some will suit certain homebuilders, while others will not. Each method will impact differently on the project.

Questions to consider are; what is the most cost effective? Which method will deliver the lifestyle I expect? How do I know I’m getting a quality job?

Lock up Building
Most people just do not realize they can split the project into distinct sections. If you have commissioned an architect or designer to create the plans for you, you can do the project as an owner builder or tender the works out and decide who will give you the best price and service. If however, the construction process is a little daunting, why not tender out the construction works to lock up or when the plaster is installed. At least by having a registered builder do the construction under contract, the works are covered by the full 6 years of builder’s warranty.

If you are capable of organizing the fit out, substantial savings can be achieved. The truth be known, the client makes most of the decisions about the fit out. The homeowner commissions the light fittings, kitchens, bathrooms, floor & window coverings and colour scheme anyway. The difference is that there’s no builders margin tacked onto the price and if you are a good shopper many bargains are available by checking out the auctions and sales.

Most extension companies have been dealing with their clients in this way for years. They will do the construction, but not the painting, appliances or painting and it is recommend everyone contemplating a project to at least look at the option of a reputable lock up program.

Planning Kits

Maximizing the savings on your owner builder project comes down to efficiencies and organisation. Save your time and money with our Planning Kits.



Owner building can be a rewarding experience but one part that can be an issue is insurance. Without Insurance you might lose your home & still have a mortgage.



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