The free online building tool helping consumers build with confidence

Victorians planning to build or renovate a home can now do so with more confidence through a new online domestic building tool.

In late 2016, the Victorian Government launched building.vic.gov.au, a site that streamlines access to building and renovating information.

Victorian Building Authority (VBA) CEO Prue Digby said: “Easier access to what can be a complex array of information, will help people make informed decisions, understand their legal rights and obligations, and resolve issues such as defects or delays.

The new online tool is the result of the close collaboration between the VBA, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) and the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA), and is part of a drive by the Victorian Government to make the building process easier to understand.

When users log on to building.vic.gov.au they will be asked questions about their building needs, which the tool will use to direct them to appropriate information on the VBA, CAV and VMIA websites.

“The VBA, CAV and VMIA worked closely to create the new online tool which will help consumers navigate insurance, dispute resolution and regulatory framework,” said Ms Digby. “Consumers must have access to the information they need to give them confidence in their building projects.”

Topics include builder registration, contracts, insurance, plans and permits, information for owner builders and advice on resolving problems.

Consumer Affairs Victoria Director Simon Cohen said: “Whether you’re not sure where to begin or you’ve hit a hurdle along the way, the building tool will make it easier and more straightforward to find all the information you need.

“Building a home or doing a renovation is likely to be one of the biggest projects you’ll ever embark on, and it is essential to be well informed.”

Always use a registered building practitioner or a registered or licensed plumber

Building practitioners in Victoria must be registered with the VBA to:

  • perform domestic building work that costs more than $5,000 (including labour and materials)
  • carry out re-blocking, restumping or demolishing work, remove a house, or carry out any building work that requires a permit, regardless of cost
  • provide more than one type of building work (such as plastering and painting) that costs more than $5,000 (including labour and materials).

To ensure projects involving this type of work are carried out by someone with the necessary qualifications and expertise, consumers should only engage a registered building practitioner.

It is equally important to ensure that when engaging a plumber to carry out work, consumers check that the person is registered or licensed in the areas of plumbing that are relevant to the work required. In Victoria, only registered or licensed plumbing practitioners can carry out plumbing work.

All registered building practitioners and registered and licensed plumbers are issued with, and should always carry, a photo ID card.

It is also possible to check online if a builder is registered or if a plumber is registered or licensed by using the VBA directory Find a Practitioner at vba.vic.gov.au.