Owner-builders require the Building Practitioners Board’s consent. Permits are issued by building surveyors, who inspect work and issue the occupancy certificate. Architects are useful for planning. The Bushfire Building Standard applies in bushfire-prone areas. Building contracts imply warranties over the quality of workmanship and materials. Limits exist on progress payments. Home warranty insurance offers limited cover. Check your builder has public liability insurance. Definitions vary for the finish date or completion of works. Wrongfully terminating a contract may make the consumer liable for damages to the builder. The Building Advice and Conciliation Service Victoria can help with complaints about builders. The Domestic Building List of VCAT hears disputes and may require compulsory conferences. VCAT may award costs.


Mark Attard

Partner, Clyde & Co.

Introduction to building or renovating a house

Last updated

1 July 2021

Home building and renovating is a highly technical area often giving rise to confusion and expensive disputes and litigation. This chapter highlights the important issues that need to be considered and provides general guidance to the law in this area.

It is important to prepare properly before com­mencing any project and to carefully review any documents. Anyone contemplating major domestic building work should first get professional legal advice. 

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