Doing your own building work

​​​​​DIY work

Most DIY wo​rk is usually minor repair, maintenance or alteration work and you can do this work yourself. Before you get started, it pays to check first to see if it requires a building consent​.

​It is also important to be aware that there is a category of building work defined as ‘restricted building work’. 

Restricted building work is work that requires a building consent and relates to the primary structure of your home, or affects its weather tightness. It can only be carried out or supervised by a licensed building practitioner (unless you are using the owner-builder exemption). 

Licensed building practitioners are designers, carpenters, brick and block layers, roofers, external plasterers, site and foundations specialists who have been assessed to be competent to carry out work essential to a residential building's structure or weather-tightness

For more information on restricted building work and using a licensed building practitioner please visit building performance website​.

Owner-builder exemptions

Owner-builders may carry out restricted building work on their own home. You are an owner-builder if you:

    • live in, or are going to live in, the home (includes a bac​h/holiday home)

    • carry out the restricted building work on your own home yourself, or with help from unpaid friends and family members, and have not, under the owner-builder exemption, carried out restricted building work on any other home within the previous 3 years. 

If you are a licensed building practitioner, you do not need an exemption. The owner-builder exemption is specifically tailored for owner-builders who are not licensed to carry out restricted building work​. 

The owner-builder exemption will not cover works such as electrical, gas or plumbing and drainage unless the owner-builder holds appropriate licenses for this work. The owner-builder exemption is not valid until you submit a written declaration to council confirming that you meet the owner-builder criteria.

​How to apply for an owner-builder exemption

Before you can use the owner builder exemption you need to complete a statutory declaration  to confirm that you meet the owner-builder criteria. Please visit building pe​rfo​rmance website to download the application forms.

The statutory declaration form must be witnessed and signed by a legally authorised person such as a Justice of the Peace. This form needs to be given to us with your application for a building consent​, or before the restricted building work on your home starts. 

It is an offence under the Crimes Act 1961 to give false information in a Statutory Declaration, and it is also an offence under the Building Act 2004 to give false information. Please visit building perfo​rm​ance website​ or contact us for more information on the owner-builder exemption.

For legislative detail please see the Building Act 2004 

If you are a suitably skilled owner-builder and meet the criteria above, you can carry out this work but if you have any doubts you are recommended to hire Licensed Building Practitioners to do this critical building work.

An owner-builder is responsible for ensuring that Restricted Building Work carried out under the owner-builder exemption complies with the building consent and the relevant plans and specifications.

​Help with your DIY work

As the owner-builder family members and friends can help you with the Restricted Building Work to your home as long as you are not paying them to help you. Future buyers will have access to information that shows the building work was carried o​ut by the owner rather than a Licensed Building Practitioner. ​

Page reviewed: 15 Nov 2017 11:20am