An Owner Builder certificate is required to build a new house or extensions to an existing house, with the value of works over $12,000. To carry out prescribed residential building work in the Northern Territory you must be registered with the Building Practitioners Board as a Building Contractor (Residential) Restricted or Unrestricted.
Prescribed building works for Part 4A of the Act are those described in the regulations which can only be carried out by a registered building contractor or, in some cases, an owner-builder.
Prescribed works are:
• new single houses and new residential units in residential buildings to any height
• verandas, garages and carports built as part of new single dwellings and residential units
• extensions such as livings areas, bedrooms and enclosed attached garages to existing single houses and residential units
• retaining walls associated with the actual structure of a single house or residential unit
where the cost is above $12,000.
Prescribed works are NOT:
• renovations or alterations to existing buildings, including renovations to bathrooms and kitchens where there is no increase in the floor area
• free standing sheds or fences
• retaining walls not associated with the actual single house or residential unit
• verandas or open carports being added to existing single houses or residential units
• commercial or industrial buildings
• mixed use commercial and residential buildings.
(NOTE: these exclusions do NOT alter the requirements for building permits)
Obtaining a Building Permit
Part 6 of the Building Act states that anyone (including owner-builders) intending to undertake building work must obtain a building permit in respect of that work before commencing.
Once your design documentation is finalised, you should engage a private building certifier. The private building certifier will;
• check that the plans are in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and the Building Regulations
• assess any special structural requirements
• ensure that you have all the necessary documentation required by legislation before you are able to commence building
A building certifier may require the applicant for the permit to provide additional information or documents or to amend the application. If that information is not provided by the applicant within a specified time, the building certifier may treat the application as having lapsed.
A building permit that is granted by a building certifier is valid for a period of 2 years from the date it was granted. Building work needs to be completed during this period unless an extension of time has been granted by the building certifier before the expiration of the building permit. A private building certifier will charge a fee for the above service.
A list of current private building certifiers is available from the Department of Planning and Infrastructure website.
Buildings Practitioners Board (NT) – 899 98964 – www.bpb.nt.gov.au/
Department of Planning and Infrastructure - www.dlp.nt.gov.au
NT Work Safe – 1800 019 115 – www.worksafe.nt.gov.au
Territory Insurance Office – 1300 301 833 – www.tiofi.com.au