How owner-builders can get professional online drafting services

Superdraft also caters to owner-builders or self-builders who want to keep a close eye on their projects.
Owner Builders

Owner-builders who are planning to build a house need professionally drafted house plans. These construction drawings can be provided by:

  1. Licensed and registered architects 
  2. Licensed and registered building designers 
  3. Skilled drafting professionals

Here at Superdraft, our project planning platform can cater to owner-builders like you who want to keep a close eye on your project. Our platform gives you access to building designers and draftsmen who can design and draft plans on your behalf. The platform also allows you to get quotes from engineers and other consultants you need. 

Register to get started or get a free quote here.

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Who are owner-builders?

Owner-builders or self-builders supervise their build of projects on a property under their name. They take on the responsibilities of a registered builder. Their work includes:

  • Supervising the construction from start to finish
  • Coordinating and managing various trades
  • Ensuring the safety of the building site as mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984
  • Obtaining all necessary permits
  • Submitting all required notices
  • Complying with the Building Code of Australia, and
  • Meeting the requirement of the Building Services Acts
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In most cases, they also lead the construction team (although they are not required to work). This is called the ‘sweat equity’ and many owner-builders do it to cut costs.

Can you save money or cut costs as an owner-builder? 

Renovating and building a new home is an expensive endeavour, so no wonder many people continue to ask how much they can save if they are an owner-builder. 

The truth is, it depends.

The first major savings will come from not having to pay the builder’s fees. 

More money will be saved by doing physical labour. Completing some of the work yourself means fewer tradespeople to hire and pay. 

If you build houses for a living, then you probably buy in bulk from suppliers and pay wholesale prices. You are lucky to use leftover materials from previous jobs too. These strategies will help you cut costs on building materials.  

With the money saved on fees and material costs, an owner-builder can cut back 35% of the total construction cost. 

The downside is that most owner-builders have divided attention and are often overwhelmed with both construction and administrative tasks. As a result, most owner-build projects take twice as long to finish. Time is money too, so you better weigh the risks and rewards before making a final decision.

Building designer

Superdraft caters to owner-builders by giving you support during the planning phase, where most of the administrative tasks happen.

Our designers can help you with the design and drafting of plans whilst ensuring that the work complies with the Australian building codes and standards. We tick this task off your list so you can focus better when it’s time to build.

Additional information about own build projects

Here are a few important things to know about being an owner-builder:

  • Individual property owners may apply to be an owner-builder and acquire an owner-builder certificate. All individuals on the property title must be included in the certificate. It is crucial to acquire this certificate first before any work begins. 
  • Only one certificate is given per block of land. The certificate lasts for three years and is renewable for another three years.
  • An individual can have only one owner-builder certificate. You can’t apply as an owner-builder of another property immediately. You must wait for six years from the issue date of your first owner-builder certificate. 
  • If you are already a registered and licensed builder, you do not need to apply or register as an owner-builder. 
  • The owner-builder permit is not the same as a builder’s licence.
  • The owner-builder certificate is not for companies or businesses wanting to build.
  • An owner-builder certificate is not a building permit. Owner-builders still need to get the required planning and building permits. 
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Projects for owner-builders

Obtaining an owner-builder certificate is required when you are planning to build any one of the following types of buildings and the cost is no less than $12,000:

  • Class 1a buildings like a single dwelling or detached house
  • Class 10 buildings like garages, carports, sheds
  • Retaining walls that support a Class 1a or Class 2 building
  • Extensions where you increase the floor space

Important: The construction, extension, or renovation of complex buildings like duplexes, townhouses, flats, and units can’t be done by an owner-builder.

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What does it take to be an owner-builder?

More than acquiring an owner-builder certificate, you need to possess skills that will make the job easier. These skills will come in handy: 

  • Time management; especially when you are juggling this and a full-time job, a business, plus family time.
  • Negotiating; especially when you need the help of banks to fund your project. Banks only lend around 60% to owner build projects; 80% if it’s through a builder. Take this into consideration before commencing any work. 
  • Budgeting since you are in charge of the financial side of your project.
  • Making connections with suppliers and tradespeople. The better relationship you have with them, the better. An experience in the building industry will definitely give you a headstart. 
  • Sense of responsibility because owner-builders are legally responsible for the entire project. You must know the Australian building codes or work with knowledgeable design and drafting professionals and trades to make sure you get it right the first time. 

Here at Superdraft, we cater to everyone who wants to make their dream homes a reality. Our platform makes project management easy for owner-builders. It makes working with the professionals easier too. 

Register to get started or get a free quote here.

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