The Owner-Builder’s Sanity Saving Checklist!

The two most daunting questions in the minds of first time owner builders are:
What are the steps or process I need to follow to build a house as an owner builder?
What are the stages of building a house as an owner builder?


Being prepared is the key to a successful owner-build project
Being prepared is the key to a successful owner-build project
How great would it be if you had a checklist or list that outlines the steps that you need to perform as an owner builder? Sort of like a high level guide that lays out the tasks for you step by step.
I’ve provided one for you right here free for you to use. Here goes:
The initial stages:
• Obtaining finance for your project
• Selecting the land
• Purchasing the land
• Soil testing
• Designing your home
• Costing your project
The formalities:
• Obtaining the building permit
• Work cover
• Purchasing relevant insurance
• Understanding your rights and responsibilities as an owner builder
• Understanding how to obtain quotes and deal with subcontractors and suppliers
• Knowing when inspections need to be carried out
• Having a plan for safety on site Executing the work
• Power, toilet, water, bins and crossing for the building works
• Performing the set out or defining the outside boundary of the building
• The importance of “Dial before you dig”
All Australian states require a ‘would be’ owner-builder to complete a simple course to help them to understand the overall process and, in particular, the items listed here as formalities. The courses are available online and a quick search will bring up a list of providers. For readers planning on building in other countries where no similar course is available, consider doing the Australian course since building is building no matter where you are.
The building steps:
• Excavating your site • Termite protection
• Construction of the foundations (either strip footings or concrete slab)
• Purchasing the bricks and sand cement and lime for the brick layers
• Performing the base brick work
• Stumps, bearers and joists (only relevant for strip footings, not concrete slabs)
• Window selection and supply • Construction of the frame
• Completing the brickwork • Brick cleaning
• Installing the roof plumbing
• Plumbing “rough in” (internal plumbing prior to plaster work)
• Fixing the Fascia and guttering
• Roofing installation
• Lock up carpentry including timber flooring, external doors, eaves, fitting of baths, shower bases, spas etc.
• Electrical rough-in (i.e. internal wiring prior to the plaster work)
• Plaster work • Carpentry fixing work such as doors, architraves and skirting boards
• Stairs for multi storey dwellings • Electrical Fit-off including lights, switches, power points etc
• Telephone line installation
• Fit-off for plumbing including taps, baths, toilets etc.
• Internal and external painting
• Installation of shower screens and mirrors
• Garage door installation
• Appliances such as dishwasher, washing machine, oven, range hood etc.
• Kitchens, cupboards and vanities • Tiling of wet areas
• Floor covering (e.g timber or tiles)
• House and site cleaning
• Flooring finishes (e.g floorboard polishing)
• Drainage (sewer drains, storm water and cut off drains)
• Fencing of boundaries
• Landscaping • Paving
• Smoke alarms
It is very important to thoroughly capture the necessary trades and services from the beginning and the above list does this for you at a high level. This is however, only a high level list so you will need to research each of these areas yourself.
You might also want to read our post, Seven Tips for Successful Owner-Building



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