How does QLD OB work when you have a series of projects planned?

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  1. #1
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    Default How does QLD OB work when you have a series of projects planned?

    Hi,
    I am investigating registering as a OB in Qld so I can build a replacement for a rotten 3.5m x 9m x 3m high deck on the back of my house. After I finish that, I would also like to renovate my kitchen and bathrooms.

    Having done fair amount of renovation work on previous houses over the decades both here and overseas (when regulation wasn't so strict), I'm confident in my abilities and my awareness of my limitations in doing the actual DIY work, but the regulatory side of this scares the pants of me!

    I have reviewed a number of online courses and downloaded the BSA fact sheet and study guide. I already have a QLD white card from being involved in commissioning an extension building at my day job.
    Before I sign up for the course and then go on to the permit application I'd like to be perfectly sure what I'm getting myself into and that I am going to be able to meet the requirements of the regulations.

    I do understand, from reading many posts here, that OB isn't necessarily as cost saving as it may appear and there are many costs that are not initially apparent, particularly if you are just coordinating trade contractors on small scale projects and I am still in the process of quantifying all that (insurance, certifications, etc.) too.

    In the case of the deck I intend to do much of the work myself in my spare time, so there will be labour savings. I was thinking of getting a chippie in to do the beams and joists and just doing the decking and balustrades myself, but having reviewed many posts in the decking forum (especially adam.baxter's Deck Construction of 23 Mar 12), I am feeling more confident that, with a bit of advice from the forum, it is within my capabilities to do the base structure too.

    For the bathrooms I have a 3rd year plumbing apprentice son-in-law! (hence the intention to delay the bathrooms until he's licensed!)

    As I understand it, to obtain the permit, I have to fully document the work to be performed, can only have one OB permit in 6 years and I believe I read somewhere that work has to be completed within two years.

    Does this mean that my intention of doing the deck now, the kitchen in 18-24 months and the bathrooms in 3-4 years is not going to be permitted?

    I have had professional plans prepared for the deck and had it commercially quoted at $24K+7K for the roof, but have only got as far as nominating a budgetary amount for the kitchens and bathrooms. How specific does the application require me to be about the 'work to be performed'?

    If anyone has any advise or suggestions to make regarding doing this sort of small scale renovation work as an OB, as opposed to building a house, I would gratefully absorb it all.

    Hopefully, you'll be seeing my future posts in the decking forum

    Steve

  2. #2
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    List everything you want to do on the owner builder permit. Everything, whether you want to do it or not. Much easier to not do something on the permit than apply for change. The permit is just for the BSA, they don't need plans or working drawings but they will require a dollar amount. Always over estimate this amount by at least 20 % to give some wiggle room. The OB permit lasts for 6 yeas but DA or building approval only lasts for 18 months at which time you will have to pay a extension fee to the certifier. So be ware. It's a real grey area. I have seen people build entire houses or do serious rennos without a permit at all. They just use licenced trades and each trade pays BSA insurance. The BSA argues that this is Illegal as no one is supervising the trades. The response from the owner is always- well, you have given these tradies a licence therefore you deem them to not need supervising. The BSA falls in a heap and runs away as they don't even know their own legislation let alone have the ability to police it. It turns out that the BSA only want one BSA insurance policy to cover the entire job so if there is an issue they only have one person to go after rather than 3 or 4. This says it all. In reality, the BSA are nothing more than an insurance company. Of course, if you use licenced trades and have an OB permit there is no insurance and zero support from the BSA if something happens. Be warned, you must find trustworthy trades to succeed as a OB, or do everything yourself except plumbing and electrical. Any trades that you do engage should give you a form 16 for the work they have done, which you then give to the certifier.

  3. #3
    2K Club Member barney118's Avatar
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    On the OB it is different but similar in each state, (if its internal then its not counted) and your deck I would imagine is just a rebuild "maintenance" (provided it went through council) so it may fall outside this all together unless significant changes. If you need a chippy to build the base for you then as long as you check they have insurances then it should be sweet.

    If you are changing the place by additions which includes bigger footprint then council would want to make sure you are building within development guidelines and setbacks etc, if you go down council path then you put plans through to council for all your work you need done in one go and they charge a fee based on the value of the work and you submit your OB ticket and then get a D/A , CC to start your work.
    cheers Look out if I have a tape measure in my hand.....I'm upto something

  4. #4
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Everything is included in Qld. Inside and out. Council has nothing to do with it up here as everything is done through private certifiers except relaxations and plumbing inspections. Most people do kitchen and bathroom rennos without telling anyone up here. As long as there is the same number of fixtures the attitude seems to no harm no foul. Adding a toilet where there was none before for example is different. The plumber lodges this with the council and their inspectors come out to inspect and amend the drainage plan.

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    Sorry for the apparent silence. I've been away.

    Thanks for the QLD perspective, ringtail.

    Based on your insights, I might simplify things and forget about the bathroom and kitchen renovations for now. If and when I do get to do them, it will
    just be a strip and renovate without major relocation of services or layout and I'd be employing trades for plumbing, waterproofing and electrical, so
    it would fall into that grey area.

    On the matter of the deck, there is a temptation to just do it on the quiet, but I think I'll feel more comfortable if I know it has all been certified
    and legalised and is safe. The necessity to have the OB work listed on the property deeds for 6 years is a bit intimidating, but hopefully we wont be
    selling it before then anyway.

    So I'm off to do my online course which, in the case of the one I've chosen, includes a copy of Allan Stains Decks and Pergolas.

    The other regulation area I am still a bit grey on is the Owner Builder insurance.

    I understand that I need it during the course of the job to provide contractor and public liability cover, but is there also something you have to get (and maintain for 6 years) that provides the equivalent of the QBSA warranty? Are you supposed to insure yourself against the unlikely situation that there may be a claim against the OB work after you have sold the house and some problem arises?

  6. #6
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    After 6.5 years from the final inspection there is nothing anybody can do to an OB. With the insurance, check with your current house insurer to see if they will cover the liability for doing a renno. Since they cover you and others for liability anyway already. As far as covering other contractors, you do not have to cover them at all AFAIK with any sort of special policy. They should all have their own liability insurance AND personal accident cover. YOU MUST see their policies ( and licence) before letting them on site to protect yourself.

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