The Different Types of Domestic Builders

Apr 3, 2019 by

The term ‘domestic building’ can incorporate various roles within the realms of construction, renovation, and maintenance of a home or residential location (i.e. commercial or industrial properties that are used as permanent living spaces). This does not include, however, vehicles used as residences, such as caravans, or any premises that is not intended to be used as permanent habitation.

From project to project, the nature of this work will vary in size and scale. Within these variations, there are also three different types of domestic builders registrations that need to be obtained in order to conduct specific work: Domestic Builder (Limited), Domestic Builder (Unlimited), or Domestic Builder (Manager). In this blog, we break down what separates these particular definitions and roles.

Why Registration is Needed

Firstly, it is important to address the question of why registration is actually needed. Say a builder is looking to undertake or manage domestic building work, for example, and the project will cost the client over $10,000. By law, all parties involved must enter into a domestic building contract stating all factors concerned within the project. With this in mind, a builder can only enter into a domestic building contract if they are first registered as a building practitioner under the Building Act 1993. Failing to register, therefore, will either limit one’s income earning potential, or place them in a situation where they perform work in an illegal capacity. A registration is also almost always necessary when taking out insurance, to protect you, your work, and your client from damages, should disaster occur.

Not every single registration is needed to conduct work, however. It is important to realise what is required of you in your role and follow the appropriate guidelines.

Domestic Builder (Limited)

As can likely be inferred from the title, when someone receives registration to be a domestic builder (limited), they are ‘limited’ to being in charge of completing or overseeing at least one, but not all tasks specified in their certificate. This is usually the registration for domestic builders in the employs of others, entrusted with a specific duty whilst on the worksite. Within this class, there are several sub-classes of registration, including limited to carpentry, to the construction of private bushfire shelters, and to wall and floor tiling work.

Domestic Builder (Unlimited)

Unlike domestic builders with a limited registration, those within this category are permitted to arrange, perform and manage all work related to the renovation, maintenance, construction, and improvement of homes qualifying for class 1, 2, 3, or 10 under Australia’s building code. Domestic builders here will be more versatile in what they offer clients, handling multiple, unrelated jobs within a project.

Domestic Builder (Manager)

If a builder works to attain this registration class, they are then permitted to arrange and manage other builders who have limited or unlimited registrations as they perform the domestic building work stated within their certificates. This registration class will generally be for domestic builders with experience operating under the variations above, perhaps once they decided to start their own operation, or ‘move up the ladder’ to handle more responsibility.

Registration Requirements

With each class of registration, several stipulations will exist that prospective builders must first satisfy. These revolve around builders validating their capabilities in undertaking or managing the work involved within domestic building, involving everything from obtaining building permits, to making preparations for a new worksite in accordance with industry guidelines.

Not just everyone can simply apply for a domestic builder’s registration, either. Varying levels of experience will be a necessity dependant on the registration one seeks to obtain.

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