Owner Builders and Consultants
I always encourage our owner builders to take advantage of the skills and knowledge that professional and consultants can provide in support of owner builder projects.
Very few individuals have an overall knowledge of all aspects of the building industry and the specific details or information that make projects more efficient and more importantly compliant.
You may during the course of your owner builder project seek guidance on a number of varied matters that one person would not reasonably be expected to have a complete working knowledge.
Of course, the use of consultants and the requirement to draw on external advice will be driven by the size and complexity of your project.
A recent example that is quite topical as we come into this time of year, is the use of Bushfire Management Planners.
If you happen to be building in a bushfire prone precinct, I can not stress enough, the important of good design and consideration of all of the factors that will influence the ‘survivability’ of your construction if the worst happens.
This is a great example of where specialist skills and knowledge is required to determine the design and practicality factors that should be considered and incorporated in an owner built domestic dwelling.
Lifestyle living is becoming increasingly popular as is the requirement to build in a sustainable manner.
I am appreciating more and more the importance of good design and the requirement to keep up to date with the latest developments in sustainability and renewable energy.
Unless you are dedicated to that area or design discipline, it is impossible to remain truly up to date and still maintain your day job.
That is why, more and more, I am turning to professionals who focus only on energy ratings, new products and sustainable concept dwellings. It is not hard now to be truly ‘eco friendly’ and many owner builders are heading down this track.
We have always maintained a contract/project management facility to assist owner builders and whilst it went through a considerable lull for around 5 years, more and more of our owner builder students are seeking this service.
I guess what I am saying is, no person could be across all of the requirements and legislative considerations. Give some thought to seeking the advice of those who really know their industry and have the time to keep up to date with current trends and innovation.
It may involve a cost, but the ultimate savings to yourself, your community and even the planet, are usually worth the investment.
Happy Owner Building
Rick Heaton is a Building and Construction Industry professional with formal tertiary qualifications in management and training.