What are the benefits of owner building versus using a builder?
The builder will charge you for project managing the job, assuming the risks and accepting the cash flow implications of the project as well as charge a margin on materials and sub-contractors used on the job.

As an owner builder, you are managing the job (with DirectBuild’s guidance and support) with savings achievable of 20% plus of project costs.

The real benefits of owner building with DirectBuild are the transparency of the overall processes as well as the control you have over the project including cost management, quality standards, energy efficient outcomes and the construction timeline.

What exactly does DirectBuild do?

DirectBuild specialises in helping owner builders succeed.We specialise in coaching people to successfully project manage the building or renovating of their homes as owner builders.

In effect, you are the project manager and we provide you with schedules/timelines, scopes of works, an easy to read, step-by-step construction manual, introductions to trades, suppliers and professional service providers as well as regular on-site consultations; all designed to assist you manage the project successfully.

We aim to give you the overall control of an owner builder with the advantages of our bulk buying power, access to pre-screened tradespeople and practical guidance and support from our experienced building personnel.

What skills do I need to be a successful owner builder?

To be a successful owner builder, the more important attributes you need are good communications, people management and time management skills.When you add DirectBuild’s detailed systems and processes as well as DirectBuild’s on-site guidance and support throughout the project, all the ingredients are there to ensure your home building/renovation project can be achieved on time, on budget and with minimum stress.

What is your fee and what is it based on?

DirectBuild charges a fee based on the size and complexity of your project.  The standard full service fee is 6% (plus GST) of the budgeted building costs with minimum fees applying.  The fee is payable progressively.  A portion of the fee is payable for our Construction Cost Analysis, a portion for our Pre-construction Set-Up (pre-building planning) with the balance payable incrementally at the start of individual stages of construction.

We also offer a service package specifically designed for the more experienced owner builders who do not require the usual level of on-site consultation by DirectBuild’s experienced building personnel.  We would be happy to discuss this service package with you and tailor a solution to meet your requirements.

Can DirectBuild help in obtaining Council approval?

Most definitely.

DirectBuild’s complete service simplifies the approval process for you.

DirectBuild is familiar with the NSW Complying Development criteria and can advise on whether your project conforms to the Complying Development requirements or what changes to your plans would be necessary to meet the criteria.  DirectBuild can collate the full range of information/documentation required to gain Complying Development approval from your Accredited Certifier.

DirectBuild can prepare the Development Application and collate the supporting documentation required by the relevant Council.  We can liaise with Council on your behalf regarding any issues/questions that may arise with your Development Application through to determination.  Further, DirectBuild can assist in organising specific professionals/specialists where required.

Once Development Consent is issued, a Construction Certificate is required before construction can commence.  DirectBuild can assist by collating the necessary documentation to obtain approval for the Construction Certificate.

DirectBuild would be pleased to discuss your requirements in more detail and provide a tailored quote for our services.

How do I obtain my Owner Builder Permit?

In NSW, two separate steps are required to qualify for your owner builder permit –

  1. Obtain a WorkCover “Work Safely in the Construction Industry” (White Card).  The White Card course is offered on-line at a cost of around $50.
  2. Undertake the Owner Builder Compliance Course.  The course can be done on-line at a cost of around $190.

Once you have completed these steps, you can collect your owner builder permit from the Department of Fair Trading.  It is important that you collect the owner builder permit before you do any work at all on the actual development.

What kind of insurance should I carry as an owner builder?
As an owner builder, your lender will require a building risk insurance policy that covers you throughout the course of the building process.In addition you need to consider personal and property risks which may arise during the project.You should consult your insurance provider/broker who is licensed to provide professional advice in this area.The types of cover you may wish to discuss with your insurance provider/broker include –

– Personal Sickness and Accident Insurance
– Construction Works & Public Liability Insurance
– Voluntary Workers Insurance
– Workers Compensation Insurance
– Home Owner Warranty Insurance

You should also consider Home and Contents Insurance when reaching the final stages of your project.  At this point, you may be taking delivery of expensive whitegoods and appliances and be vulnerable to the risk of robbery.

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