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Building or Renovating?

Use accredited tradespeople
Look around most Victorian suburbs or towns and you’ll see there’s plenty of building work underway. While building is a favourite Aussie pastime, particularly home renovations, there are things you can do to help make it a success.

According to the Victorian Building Authority’s Director of Technical and Regulation, Jarrod Edwards, “if you’re thinking about building anything, you should do your research before you begin.

“Importantly, you should take the time and engage the right builder and plumber,” he said.

For builders, there are usually two choices – a volume builder, who builds many homes a year, or a smaller builder, who builds or renovates a few homes each year. Builders also have different specialties, from apartments to tailor-made homes and domestic home projects of various types and sizes.

“In Victoria you must use a registered building practitioner for building or renovating work valued over $5000,” Mr Edwards said.

“Only registered building practitioners have the requisite training, experience and insurance needed to carry out domestic building work.”

To check if your builder or plumber is accredited, or to see if your builder has faced previous disciplinary action, you can visit the VBA website at

“Plumbers also specialise in different types of work and must be accredited to perform the particular kind of work you need. Your plumber’s accreditations will be listed on the back of their ID card,” Mr Edwards said.

“In Victoria you should only use a licensed or registered plumber, so ask to look for their official ID card or check their details on the VBA’s website,” he said.

While your builder will often arrange contractors for your building work, there are a number of checks you can do to ensure your tradespeople are accredited to perform the work:

• Hire a registered building practitioner.

• Use a licensed or registered plumber (look for an official ID card).

• Make sure you use a licensed plumber for any work costing $750 or more and get a compliance certificate at the end of the job (all underground drain and most gasfitting jobs also need a compliance certificate, whatever the value of the work).

• Make sure you use a licensed electrician – visit Energy Safe Victoria’s website at and ensure that you are issued with a Certificate of Electrical Safety.