Domestic building work encompasses most work involving the construction of a home. This includes any landscaping, paving and the construction of any building or fixture with the home (e.g. retaining structures, driveways, fencing, garages, carports, workshops, swimming pools or spas) and the supply of lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water supply, sewerage and drainage to the home.
Domestic building work also extends to the renovation, alteration, extension or improvement or repair of a home, including any site works related to this work. Domestic building work also included the preparation of plans or specifications for the carrying out of the work referred to above.
Whenever a builder is doing domestic building work for an owner and the job value is more than $10 000, the builder must be a registered building practitioner (i.e. DB-M, DB-U or DB-L) and execute a major domestic building contract with the owner. Examples of conforming major domestic building contracts are: the New Homes Contract (HC-7), Home Improvements Contract (HIC-6), Domestic Cost Plus Contract (DCP-2), Minor Works Contract (MW-2), and the Australian Building Industry Contract Simple & Major Works Contracts – ABIC SW (Housing) 2018 and ABIC MW (Housing) 2018.
Can an unregistered person do domestic building work on a job valued at more than $10,000? Unregistered persons may not carry out any building work. There are some, very limited, exceptions to this rule:
- No registration is needed whenever a person is a subcontractor to a registered building practitioner.
- A builder who is solely engaged in the business of carrying out domestic building work if the cost of the domestic building work carried out by that person is $10,000 or less, in each case. (But a demolisher and a reblocker must be registered for all work, even less than $10,000).
Note: it is unclear what happens if there is more than one such ‘person’ carrying out work on the same project, and the total exceeds $10,000.
- Building work as otherwise excepted under r7-9 of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017.