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 a building practitioner to do the work.

In Victoria, building practitioners must be registered with the VBA to perform certain kinds of work. You’ll also need to use a registered builder for most domestic building work worth more than $10,000 (including labour and materials).

You do not have to use a registered builder for jobs only involving one of the following types of work, regardless of cost:

  • floor and wall tiling
  • glazing
  • painting and decorating
  • installing insulation
  • sheet plastering
  • solid plastering and rendering
  • floor finishing and covering
  • attaching external blinds, awnings, security screens, insect screens and balustrades
  • erecting poles, masts, aerials and antennae

If your job requires two or more of the above trade skills, the person you use must be registered with the VBA if the total cost of work is more than $10,000.

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 showing Registered Building Practitioner

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 our Find a practitioner directory or search for professional engineers on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

Note: the VBA is unable to recommend building practitioners for your project.

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. Endorsed Building 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.

Disciplinary Register

The VBA’s Disciplinary Register is a record of industry professionals and companies that have had disciplinary action taken against them. Industry professionals and companies that have breached the Building Act 1993, the Building Regulations 2018 or the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 may be listed on the register.

However, just because an industry professional or company is listed on the register doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t use their services. 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 whether it holds any disciplinary records made against an industry professional or company you are considering engaging for your project.

View the Disciplinary 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: