Your responsibilities as an owner builder

It’s important that you understand your responsibilities and obligations as an owner builder. It will help to ensure that your project runs to plan.

What you must do

Follow the conditions of your permit

  • You must only carry out work covered in the permit
  • Anyone you engage to carry out building work must be a licensed contractor
  • You can’t perform any occupational work such as plumbing, draining, gasfitting or pest control unless you have an occupational licence
  • You must have the appropriate licence to perform any fire protection work higher than $1,100.

Display an owner builder sign

Before work starts, you must display a sign on your site. Failure to do so could mean a fine.

It must:

  • be clearly visible from the street
  • show your owner builder permit number
  • be made of weatherproof material
  • be at least half a square metre in size
  • be printed in letters at least 50mm high.


You need to maintain quality control and oversee the standards of workmanship on your site.

You are also responsible for carrying out safe work practices. See Workplace Health and Safety (Qld) for more information.

Dealing with problems on site

Defective work

If you get into a dispute with your contractor over defective work we may be able to assist you reach a solution via our dispute resolution service.

You can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) or seek independent legal advice for some assistance.

Payment and contract issues

If you and your contractor have a disagreement over payment or any of the conditions of the contract, you’ll need to get legal advice.

Be aware that if you don’t pay your subcontractors and suppliers, they can use the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act) to resolve their payment dispute. See BIF Act information for owner builders (PDF) for further information.

Health and Safety Requirements

As an owner builder you are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of all occupants, visitors and workers on site.

You must comply with and be able to demonstrate compliance with the permittee's duties and responsibilities under the Public Health Act 2005 for managing asbestos-related harm and under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in relation to the owner building work carried out under the permit.

Asbestos Awareness

If your property contains asbestos, or was built prior to 1990, you may be asked to complete an Asbestos General Awareness course through a Registered Training Organisation and supply a certificate of completion upon request as a part of your owner builder application.