If the idea of controlling materials, trades and design decisions appeals, or you are looking to build or renovate using a product that differs from the norm, setting out as an owner-builder may just be the answer.
The Challenge and Rewards of Becoming an Owner-Builder
It is easy and entirely forgivable to be lulled into a false sense of security regarding the workload involved in construction, or what a day on site really looks like, by watching a season of ‘The Block’ or ‘House Rules’.
The simple fact is - owner-building can be every bit as challenging as it is rewarding, but the decision to embark on the journey is not one to be taken lightly. Nor should it be undertaken without extensive research into what’s involved, to avoid becoming unstuck part way through a project.
The one-day Home Base Owner-Builder course is designed specifically to introduce potential future owner-builders to the process. The course is perfectly complimented by the Owner-Builder Support Network (OBSN), the only network of its kind in Australia. Together, these two offerings have the potential to create a well informed and successful owner-builder.
Course presenter and retired Architect and Builder David Uhe says it is important not to expect to make the decision and then jump in start building, there is a strict application process to undertake.
“Owner-builders have to be registered with the Building Commission before they can apply to their local government for a building permit,” he said.
The Home Base course, held every 6 weeks, is a first-look at this application process, the responsibilities of an owner-builder and offers plenty of advice and insight into the construction process itself.
Upon completion, attendees are issued with a certificate that can be used as part of their application to the Building Commission, demonstrating a sound understanding of the processes involved in owner-building in WA.
Mr Uhe says that the most common mistakes made by owner-builders were usually underestimating the time construction could take, running out of funds therefore requiring additional finance and not being prepared with quality documentation as prepared by qualified professionals.
After completing the course and deciding to take up the challenge, owner-builders may then choose to join the OBSN to start using the various services on offer as part of subscription.
Support services and features include three building inspections, educational site visits, a project scheduling consultation, a plumbing and electrical consult, access to a recommended trades and services list, discounts from selected suppliers and more.
Home Base OBSN Coordinator Megan Waru says that personal development and overcoming the feeling of being alone in the journey are two additional benefits of having access to such an initiative.
“There are hundreds of owner-builders in all shapes and forms. Being part of a network removes the isolation factor and leads you to the opportunity to learn from one another’s experiences. That sharing with like-minded owner-builders is part of the journey. It provides a way forward from mistakes and words of wisdom are always welcomed for preventative action”.
“The owner-builder journey is always a mix of highlights and lowlights, but rest assured the experience is like no other and will provide you with a valuable skillset that you can overlay on both your professional and personal life”.
And when it comes time to look at your kitchen plans, garden and landscaping design and/or interior selections and styling options for your newly built or renovated home, Home Base offers a range of design-based courses to help you complete your dream home.
Find out more about the range of courses available all year round at Home Base by visiting www.homebaseperth.com.au. Book online via the Home Base website and use the code BLOG10 for 10% off any Home Base course. Valid until June 30, 2020.
About the Author
|Crystal Roberts is the Home Base Marketing and Education Manager. Home Base is Australia’s largest building, renovating, decorating and landscaping centre in Australia. Featuring over 300 permanent displays of building, renovating, decorating and landscaping products, plus a range of specialised short courses for home builders and renovators, Home Base is dedicated to helping Western Australian’s create dream homes.|