Constructing a Steel Structure (shed, carport, patio, deck or fence) is considered Building Works under the Building Act 1975.

It is essential that you understand your obligations, or engage a Licensed Builder to manage this process for you to ensure you do not break the law or incur unexpected costs. Unfortunately, there is no requirement in Queensland for the company or person selling you a steel building to make sure you are aware of your responsibilities, or to make sure the structure they sell you complies with any of the legal requirements – unless you are dealing with a Licensed Builder it is up to you.

The following information is an overview of most items that need to be considered before you proceed with any part of your project.




  • What are Building Works - under the Law?

    Carrying out building work includes: - personally carrying out the work - directly or indirectly causing the building work to be carried out - providing administration, advisory, management or supervisory services for building work, including:- - entering into a contract or submitting a tender for building work - offering (quoting and tendering) to carry out building work - taking payment or arranging payment of subcontractors - arranging labour or arranging and conducting on-site meetings and inspections - preparing plans and specifications - coordinating the scheduling of work for building contractors even as an agent for another person - obtaining engineering or soil reports, or arranging for certificates from Local government to be issued etc - supervising building work - providing advice or a report for a building contracting for work as a subcontractor to a builder. Taken from the QBCC website. The company selling you your steel building cannot do any of the things listed above things unless they are a Licensed Builder. If they offer to do these things then they are acting illegally and liable for prosecution. You will be liable for whatever they have done on your behalf, and the Owner Builder requirements still apply.
  • Who can carry out Building Works?

    You have 2 options to complete your Building Works: 1. Do it yourself (DIY) If the Project Value is less than $11,000 you can manage this yourself without obtaining an Owner Builder Permit,otherwise you will need to complete an Owner Builder Course through an approved course provider and then obtain your Permit through the QBCC. You can either do the work yourself or engage a Licensed Contractor to do each of the different types of works for you - Earthworks, Concreting and Construction etc. Some types of work must be carried out by a Licensed Contractor, such as plumbing, draining, gas fitting, termite management etc. You are responsible for the entire project: - Engaging a private certifier; - Obtaining engineering, site and building plans and information for Building Approval; - Engaging and co-ordinating the various trades; - Providing and maintaining a safe workplace and being responsible for any WorkCover incidents that may occur; - Arranging inspections through the building process. - You will need to check with your insurer what cover you have as an Owner Builder. - You do not have access to the QBCC disputes resolution services or cover under the QBCC Home Warranty Insurance scheme should any of the work done by any Licensed Contractors be defective. 2. Licensed Builder Will arrange all the requirements and be liable for meeting all legal and building obligations, WorkCover and insurance. Under the QBCC Home Warranty Insurance scheme, will be liable for the project for 6 and a half years and/or will provide cover in the unlikely event of an issue arising.
  • Can I do the Building Works myself?

    Yes, you can! If you are a competent handyman or handywoman, then a standard size shed, carport or patio is within a reasonable expectation for you to construct yourself. There are some basic skills required to ensure the building is plumb, square and structurally sound. Also some skills required in the handing and working of steel components and power tools. You will need to be able to read plans and understand the construction methods used. Please review the Building Approval information to undertand your legal requirements It simply comes down to: How quickly do you want the shed up and how much time will you need to construct it. Do you have the nescessary tools and equipment to complete the construction (always a good excuse to buy more tools!). Are you better off earning vs the saving of the construction cost, when you work out the time it will take? Have you got access to other people to help with lifting whenever you need it - this can delay the process if you don't have that other set of hands right when you need them. My advise: be realistic! - take on only what you can comfortably achieve - you will then have a very satisfying experience!
  • What is the difference between a Licenced Builder and a Licensed Contractor/Trade Contractor?

    Licensed Builder Has completed the relevant courses and requirements to be qualified to manage the entire Building process. Meets the financial requirements to support the level of Building Works required. Is allowed to develop plans and specifications for the project. Able to engage and co-ordinate other trade contractors. Accepts responsibility for the entire project and the sub-contractors they engage. Provides insurance cover for the work they undertake including Work Cover responsibilities. Trade Contractor Trained and licensed only to provide the works their license covers, such as; Carpentry or Bricklaying or Concreting etc. (refer to the QBCC website to see Trade Contractors – Scope of Works) Cannot engage or supervise other trades. Each trade Contractor is required to arrange separate QBCC Home Warranty Insurance for their scope of works for any work of a value above $3,300 (including materials) – so you could have to pay several minimum amounts as each HWI premium is a minimum fee up to $20,000 project value.
  • How is the Project Value for the Owners Builders Permit threshold calculated?

    The Project Value is the total cost of the project if it was to be done through a Licensed Builder, it must include: Certification costs Earthworks Concreting Materials Construction And any additional items: such as, plumbing for stormwater connection, electrical or other items associated with the project. It is the total Project Value that would be covered by the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme – if you were engaging a Licensed Builder. In simple terms, if the building is greater than a single garage or double carport it is likely the total price will be over the threshold requiring an Owner Builders Permit.
  • What is required for an Owner Builders Permit?

    1. Obtain the Owner Builder Study Guide 2. Enrol with an Owner Builder Course Providers. 3. Pay your Course fee. 4. Satisfactorily complete the course material (minimum 24 hours of class content or equivalent distance learning required, excluding study requirements) 5. Apply for your Permit 6. Pay your Permit fee (50% refund if not accepted) 7. Provide Title Search or other confirmation of property ownership 8. Submit a full detailed description of the work you intend doing. The Owner Builders Permit lasts for 6 years – however, you cannot apply for another one, for another project within this time.
  • QBCC Home Warranty Insurance (HWI)

    A Statutory Insurance Scheme is administered by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission for the protection of homeowners in the event of unresolved rectification of building works and /or subsidence in relation to building works. The premium is payable by the licensed Contractor/Builder to the QBCC on behalf of the homeowner. These fees are then added to the costs charged to the homeowner. Policy documents are sent to the homeowner directly from QBCC with details of the policy, along with how to make a claim in the unlikely event this is required. For more information please visit the QBCC website through the following link: