Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make my renovation a success?
House renovations rank in the top 10 stressful life events. It happens through the collision of having a fantasy that a new house is going to give you a better life and the fact that you are spending a truckload of money. As anyone who has lived to tell the tale knows, it also brings pressure to make fast, mostly irreversible, decisions. There is the din and disruption of building and builders and compromised personal space, whether living amid the wood shavings or renting something small in the meantime because renovating can be highly stressful. Keep in mind that reality reno-television relies on the emotional drama of the process to maintain interest in the shows, which rate through the roof – and, just as "factual" bricks-and-mortar programming focuses on the mood fluxes and problem-solving skills of participants, renovation stress can affect marital and de facto relationships. Renovation stress can mean trouble for a relationship because it comes on top of everything else that is happening in your life. It may sound obvious but it all starts with good planning, the planning of 'what' and 'how'. So many people do not plan well. Poor planning that leads to amplified stress can magnify all sorts of existing issues in a relationship. When we're stressed we resort to old, sometimes toxic habits. The veneer of 'nice' disappears and the control freak comes screaming out of the closet as a critic and judge. The procrastinator will procrastinate even more.
How to surmount this obstacle?
Planning and a cohesive vision start with your vision statement what is the [visual] theme of your house going to be? In a country house, you might start with a Japanese theme. In a [1860 bluestone] city house you might consider old meets new and, in a neutral colour scheme and give a signature colour to each room. Develop a mood board so as not to become one of the many people who start with the taps, the carpet colour and the material for the curtains and they just end up being overwhelmed by choice. First, figure out your overarching theme and develop the mood board pasted with samples, colours and room photographs. Get lots of samples for your mood board and make it an interesting exercise so that you and your partner can agree before you start spending money. Reconcile the vision before you start spending. Are you doing '60s? Hippie? or minimalist? Budget! Get real. You need to build in a 20% contingency and the ABE Education Project Advisory Pack Calculator automatically adds this onto all of your trade and costs as you insert them. Don't kid yourself that you won't need it. If you don't use it all, then terrific. You'll have cash to splash at the end. Don't rush to act. The reason amateur renovators make costly mistakes is they believe they have to do it all very quickly. You are not efficient when you rush. Set priorities. You will always want to do more than you can. It is therefore useful to work out what is (a) essential; (b) optional; (c) desirable. It is also useful to work out the scope of what you can do so you can ask what options might be deleted or downgraded [in the short term]. The whole process is to make it all easier. Divvy up the roles between yourself and your partner so as to define who is specialising in what aspect of the 'build project'. One manages the budget and the timelines, the other might source the materials. Power of veto is another handy tool in the minutiae of negotiations that go into renewing a shared home. If you disagree, then try to compromise. And if one partner really wants a particular feature and the other hates the very idea of it? 'you both have to have the right to say, 'No. Absolutely not!' We suggest limiting veto power to perhaps three times and further that they can be traded as compromises. This causes you to choose very carefully and forces you to keep thinking, looking and working until you find something that you are both happy with. Don't expect there to be no problems. Renovation fatigue is real however if you work through these conversations regularly, you might not only build a new house but a new relationship!
Reconcile the vision before you start spending. Are you doing '60s? Hippie? or minimalist?
Budget! Get real. You need to build in a 20% contingency and the ABE Education Project Advisory Pack Calculator automatically adds this onto all of your trade and costs as you insert them. Don't kid yourself that you won't need it. If you don't use it all, then terrific. You'll have cash to splash at the end. Don't rush to act. The reason amateur renovators make costly mistakes is they believe they have to do it all very quickly. You are not efficient when you rush. Set priorities. You will always want to do more than you can. It is therefore useful to work out what is (a) essential; (b) optional; (c) desirable. It is also useful to work out the scope of what you can do so you can ask what options might be deleted or downgraded [in the short term]. The whole process is to make it all easier. Divvy up the roles between yourself and your partner so as to define who is specialising in what aspect of the 'build project'. One manages the budget and the timelines, the other might source the materials. Power of veto is another handy tool in the minutiae of negotiations that go into renewing a shared home. If you disagree, then try to compromise. And if one partner really wants a particular feature and the other hates the very idea of it? you both have to have the right to say, 'No. Absolutely not!' We suggest limiting veto power to perhaps three times and further that they can be traded as compromises. This causes you to choose very carefully and forces you to keep thinking, looking and working until you find something that you are both happy with. Don't expect there to be no problems. Renovation fatigue is real however if you work through these conversations regularly, you might not only build a new house but a new relationship!
Who should do this course and who requires an owner builder permit?
The course is designed for home/property owners intending to apply to become an owner-builder. In Tasmania you are required to apply to become an owner-builder if you intend to manage or carry out building work valued at over $5,000 on land you own or have a prescribed interest in.
Can an owner-builder certificate be held valid for more than one project?
Your owner-builder certificate is valid for 12 months. You can therefore use your certificate to apply for another owner-builder registration, without having to do the course again, as long as it is still within 12 months of the issue date on your course certificate. However, if you would like to apply for owner-builder registration 12 months after you have completed your course, the law requires that you complete the course again.
Do I need to re-register as an owner-builder to undertake additions or alterations to an existing owner-builder dwelling?
No. You are able to make as many alterations and additions you like to the same dwelling, without having to re-apply for owner-builder registration or having to complete the course again. For example, if you build an owner-builder dwelling and several years later decide to undertake an addition or alteration on this same dwelling, you do not need to complete the course again or apply for registration. However, if you are building or altering a new or separate dwelling, you must do the course and apply for registration again. This is also the case if you decide to build a second dwelling on the same block of land. This is considered a second dwelling even though it is on the same properly.
Are there any entry requirements to the TAS course in owner builder compliance?
Yes – You must hold a Construction Induction Card (White Card), or have purchased the ABE Education White Card training course before we can issue your owner-builder course Completion Certificate. You can still purchase the ABE Education owner-builder course now, however we won't issue your Completion Certificate until we have verified your White Card, or until you have purchased the White Card course with us. Please note that we also offer the TAS Owner Builder Course with White Card Course as a package deal. NB: ABE Education issues WA Worksafe white cards, which under the national licensing harmonisation laws will be accepted by all jurisdictions in all States.
What can I build as an owner-builder?
You may manage or carry out building work of the following types; - new building work, including a new dwelling (Class 1a); - renovations or alterations; - extensions and additions; - removing or altering load bearing walls; - works that may involve a change of use of the premises, e.g. converting a shop into a residence, or converting a garage into - habitable space such as a bedroom; - building a deck; - work on a commercial building is also permitted
What can't I do with my owner-builder permit?
You may not perform any work which requires an occupational licence, including; - Plumbing (including roof plumbing) - Electrical work - Gas fitting and air conditioning - Asbestos removal except for exempt amounts You must not remove more than 10m2 of asbestos. Only a licensed asbestos removalist can do large asbestos removal jobs (i.e. removal of sheet asbestos of a size more than 10m2).
What if the project costs less than $5,000?
You do not need an owner-builder permit; however you may still require a building permit. Visit the Workplace Standards Tasmania website for more information: http://workplacestandards.tas.gov.au.
Where should I go to find out more information about becoming an owner-builder?
The owner-building industry is regulated by the Tasmania Workplace Standards. To find out more about owner-builder requirements visit their website at; http://workplacestandards.tas.gov.au
What will I learn in this course?
The ABE Education course will help you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to confidently and successfully undertake day-to-day owner-builder activities, including how to; - manage, oversee and supervise the construction of a new residence, or the renovation/refurbishment of an existing residence; - apply for and obtain necessary council and authority approvals; - undertake designated work tasks with basic Work Health and Safety (WHS) knowledge and ensure a safe work environment that complies legislative requirements; - order materials, resources, equipment and management for the building site; - achieve basic reading and interpretation of plans and specifications commonly used in the construction industry; - read, interpret and implement a contract specific to the proposed building work for an Owner Builder project; - prioritise work tasks and organise time and resources to undertake given tasks effectively; and - communicate effectively as part of routine construction work
How difficult is the ABE Education owner builder course to complete?
The ABE Education TAS owner builder course has been developed with the assistance of numerous industry experts. The study guide consists of approximately 140 pages spread over 9 modules and there are approximately 80 auto-assessed questions, which need to be completed. The White Card course consists of 4 modules and has about 30 questions at the end of each. As you progress through the questions, your position in each quiz is automatically recorded so that you can log in and out of the course at any time and your work is permanently saved. If you have provided an incorrect answer, you will be instantly advised upon submission. This will enable you to take notes in order to provide the correct answer in your next submission. The course can be accessed from any computer or tablet with an active internet connection, and you may take as long as you wish to complete the course.
How are the courses delivered and assessed?
All courses are delivered completely on-line. Course notes are in the form of downloadable PDFs, and the assessment is in the form of self-assessed quizzes consisting of multiple choice, short answer and match-type questions only. These are automatically assessed in real time once you have submitted all your answers. Once you achieve the required pass rate, you will be assessed as competent for your course.
What if I get the questions wrong?
If you do not achieve the minimum pass rate required for each module you will be provided with 3 opportunities to resubmit any incorrect answers.
How long does the course take?
The ABE Education White Card and Owner-Builder course should take approximately between 5-7 hours of on-line study and assessment work.
What is the course cost and how do I make payment?
The combined white card and owner builder course cost is $246 and is paid in full prior to course commencement. The course fee includes all on-line learning materials, assessment, and the White Card, which is posted to you some 2 weeks after completion. Payment is made via eWay and you will be prompted for the payment details as you complete the on-line registration process. eWay only accepts Visa and MasterCard, however you may also pay by EFT or cheque, both of which will need to be cleared before your course can be assigned. Once payment has been processed you immediately receive a tax receipt and your login details are emailed to you usually within 4 hours.
How do I enrol in the course?
To enrol, simply visit the website www.ownerbuildertasmania.com.au and follow the enrolment process by clicking on Purchase button
How Secure is it to buy on-line from ABE Education?
We are very very careful with your information! We use eWay purchase gateway, which has SSL technology to securely process your credit card details and at no time is this information stored on our servers. eWay Transaction Gateway will encrypt and process your payment securely on-line.
What certification will I receive when I finish the course?
When you have successfully completed and confirmed to us by email your owner builder course completion we will email a Completion Certificate, and where applicable your White Card Statement of Attainment.
What do I do with my Course Certificate and how do I apply for a certificate of consent to become an owner-builder?
You will need to complete the Owner Builder Kit. Provide the completed Kit, along with your Course Certificate to your Building Surveyor. For more information on the application fee and required documentation.
Are owner-builders entitled to tax deductions?
Yes, owner-builders are entitled to certain deductions under Division 43 of the Income Tax Assessment Act (ITTA) 1997. The deductions relate primarily to construction expenditure such as: Preliminary expenses such as engineering fee, foundation excavation expenses, building permits etc Some portion of the indirect costs For more information, please contact the Australia Tax Office (ATO) on 13 72 26, or click here to visit the ATO webpage.
Is the work contributed by an owner-builder covered by the tax deduction?
No, an owner-builder's contribution to the works, including labour and expertise do not form part of construction expenditure. Other activities not included as construction expenditure include: - Acquiring land - Clearing, leveling, filling, draining, and preparing the construction site prior to carrying our excavation work - Demolishing existing structures - Landscaping - Plant and equipment