DIY rules aimed at eliminating building rogues

Guidelines for do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners and builders have been released recently in an attempt to eliminate rogues in the building sector.

Thursday, May 1st 2008, 1:01PM

by The Landlord

The Government had previously revealed proposals for the new Licensed Builder Practitioners’ (LPB) scheme, set to become compulsory in 2010. However, the announcement of the scheme had triggered confusion about what home building tasks would require a licensed builder, and what could be done by homeowners and DIYers.

Building and Construction Minister Shane Jones announced the DIY criteria to delegates at the opening of the Registered Master Builders Federation (RMBF) annual conference in Wellington.

Jones said DIYers who wanted to qualify for an owner-builder exemption would have to meet the following criteria:
“The devil is in the detail, and we have been able to provide that detail by defining what owner-builders can do... This should close the potential loophole between recognised licensed builders and rogues pretending to be DIYers,” Jones said.

He said restricted work wouldn’t apply to all building work, only the critical elements, such as “managing moisture content, ensuring a robust and reliable structural framework and the ability to contain fire from spreading.”

However, the Construction Industry Council (CIC), who also welcomes the new building regulations, says the exact nature of projects to be classified as ‘restricted work’ is yet to be established, with the Government expected to consider final proposals by mid October 2008.

Jones also made it clear that if DIYers chose not to use a licensed builder for restricted or specified work, they would face the same liabilities that licensed builders face.

Jones also added that he would like to see it compulsory for vendors selling new homes to inform buyers through notification on the LIM or title that an unlicensed person did the restricted work on the house.

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