Engaging a builder

Whether you're building a new home, adding an extension or carrying out structural repairs to your house, it's likely you'll need to engage building practitioner to do the work.

In Victoria, building practitioners must be registered with the VBA to perform certain kinds of work. You’ll need to use a registered builder for domestic building work worth more than $10,000. But if the job involves only one type of work (such as just painting, or just glazing), the person you use does not need to be registered.

To ensure your project is completed by someone with the necessary qualifications and experience, make sure you always use a registered building practitioner. If you engage a company to do your project, make sure the company is registered as a building practitioner.

All registered building practitioners (except companies) are issued with a Photo ID card that lists the category of registration for the work they are eligible to complete.

VBA ID card

Before engaging a building practitioner, you should check their ID card to ensure they are suitable to undertake the work.

You can also check if a building practitioner or company is registered using the VBA’s Find a practitioner directory.

Regulated areas of building work

Victoria's Building Regulations 2018 define eight categories of building practitioner regulated to undertake building work. This means that anyone carrying out work in those categories needs to be registered with the VBA.

The areas of regulated building work are

  1. Building Surveyor
  2. Building Inspector
  3. Quantity Surveyor
  4. Engineer
  5. Draftsperson
  6. Person Responsible for a Building Project
  7. Erector or Supervisor (Temporary Structures)
  8. Builder:
    1. Commercial Builder
    2. Domestic Builder
    3. Demolisher

What happens if you don’t use a registered builder

If you use an unregistered builder or tradesperson to carry out work valued at over $10,000, you are at risk of having no protection from poor quality work. In addition, the work won’t be covered by domestic building insurance.

The VBA can investigate and prosecute anyone who is not registered and carries out work that requires registration.

Practitioner sanction register

The VBA’s practitioner sanction register is a record of building practitioners who have had disciplinary sanctions imposed on them. Building practitioners who have breached the Building Act 1993, the Building Regulations 2018 or the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 may be listed on the sanction register.

However, if a building professional is listed on the register it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t use them. You may wish to consider a range of factors in addition to their disciplinary history, such as:

  • personal recommendation
  • price
  • evidence of work quality
  • professional status
  • your own judgement of their character.

You can search the register to see if it has a record of a building professional you are considering engaging for your project.

View the Practitioner sanction register.

Advice for building and renovating a home

Consumer Affairs Victoria has a range of resources to assist with planning and managing a domestic building project for new homes, renovations and pools. Here are some helpful links: