Owner Building

Just wondering if anybody has done any of the Owner Building courses on offer in Melbourne and what their thoughts were. I am considering building a holiday home and was thinking about doing it as an Owner Builder. Has anybody attempted this before and if so, do you have any suggestions?
I did an owner building course in Canberra some years ago. I learnt a lot from it- mostly that I did not want to be an owner builder! I could see that there was too much time taken up in visiting the site, making phone calls, coordinating tradesmen and the like for me to do it properly without interfering with my work.

It did give me a lot of knowledge though about what was going on when our house was built.
Hi peoples,

I haven't done a course but was involved with a family members owner built house (Courses are now compulsory for people who plan to owner build?) Time wise it may not be practical but as a learning experience I definitely recommend it. You get handson experience (or can if you choose) in everything from plastering and fitting cornice to installing kitchens etc. Has to come in handy for anyone who owns IP!!

Hi Dionysis,

I haven't done the course, but just some word of advice, if you would like to tackle such a project, I'd get at a builder to bring the project up to "lock up" stage & then you can pretty much do the rest... By doing the internals yourself (plaster, fixtures, plumbing, tiling, painting, etc.) you may save some money, but having dealt with trades people, you will need to have time & patience & in most cases the project will go over your originally allocated time (as long as you are prepared for this & your budget can allow for this)...

You may ask why not fully own-build? well, firstly by having the registered builder get to this stage, at least you know who to point the finger to if you get structural damage down the track (I'd assume it would be easier with the insurance as well)...
A little while ago I did post 2 storeys that happened to friends doing full-owner builder projects. The first friend did one with no hastles, so took on a second one & now with the second project they have all sorts of problems, cracking, etc... been to court & lost the case & will need to demolish most of the structure & start again (going on for 2 yrs now)...
The second built their place & all was well till they noticed all their exterior brickwork was cracking, due to the bricklayer not leaving expansion joints (gaps) at the allocated spaces (ie. 6 meters I think)... they have been trying to get him to re-do the job, but blames it on the slab guy, the slab guy blames it on the frame guy, and so on & so on... so you guessed it, they are living with it now & are considering rendering the place soon as years have gone by with no resolution...


owner bldg

i'm just finishing owner building in melbourne - did a timber framing course at one of the tafe's.

i'd have to say the experience has not been good for me personally - i have been let down by a lot of tradesman, and despite what i thought was a lot of knowledge in building (i was a woodwork/metalwork teacher in a former life) i got caught out on a number of things.

If doing it again, i would engage a good relaiable carpenter who is also a reg'd builder and get them to oversee it. i have someone who i now trust and would be happy to pass on their details.

i also made the mistake of not doing enough planning - thinking it would just happen and i would get around the hurdles. I have got over most of the hurdles, but not without a lot of pain!!

i've found that a lot of things have been done 'half-cocked' because i didn't know what was meant to happen and who was meant to do it. if tradespeople know you are an OB, they will tend to charge more and do less (in my opinion)

if you are an excellent organiser, do the research / planning and know exactly what you want, then i'd consider it. Unless you are very committed tho, i'd get someone else to oversee it for you - this is a good 'half-way' option for someone who has not done it before but is looking to learn

hope this helps - if you want to discuss, i'd be happy to - email me your ph number at [email protected] and i'll call you