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Become an Owner-Builder in NSW

  22 June 2016

Are you planning on purchasing a steel building kit from the team at THE Shed Company and erecting it yourself in New South Wales? This building format is not for everyone and you may need specific licenses, so read on below for more information.

What is Owner-Building?

If you are thinking about managing the build of a new shed, garage or kit home on your property you may need an owner-builder permit. Not all projects require a permit so make sure you do the required research; generally it is based on the total market value of the job and whether development consent is required.

Being the owner-builder allows you as the property owner to personally perform the construction work and take on the role of Head Contractor on the building project. This license and permit application is usually required of projects that are valued greater than $10,000.

New South Wales Fair Trading manages the developmental consent for build projects, so all applications must be submitted and requested through this department. Fair Trading should be your first point of call before committing to any purchase of a shed, garage or home kit.

Work You Can Complete as an Owner Builder

Being granted an owner-builder license does not automatically allow you to do all functions related to the build. With your owner builder license you can complete the following work:

  • Build a garage, carport or residential shed
  • Build a pergola or entertainment area for residential use
  • Build a new home
  • Alter, renovate or extend an existing home

Restrictions to the Owner Builder License

Some of the key restrictions of this permit includes the following:

  • Renovations to an existing apartment/unit/flat/townhouse within a strata complex
  • Property not for residential purposes
  • Specialist work such as plumbing, gas fitting, air-conditioning, electrical
  • Any work other than the project covered by the development application or complying development certificate 

How do I become an Owner Builder?

To become an owner-builder in the state of New South Wales you will need to apply for a permit through NSW Fair Trading. This application must only be done once you have worked through, completed and passed an Owner Builder course. NSW Fair Trading recommend a number of reputable providers for these courses, so check out their website for more information.

Once you have completed the course, the permit application must be lodged in person at a Service NSW centre. Fill out the application form with all supporting documents, including the signed completion of your Owner-Builder Course. You will be required to pay an application fee before sending this off. The application process will usually take around 4 weeks.

For more in-depth information about owner-building visit


Please note – this content was accurate at time of publishing. Please check the Fair Trading website for current and up to date information.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as at time of publishing. For the latest information please contact us.

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