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A simplified explanation of Owner building from lock-up

What is Owner building from lock- up?

Have you tried to obtain finance for Owner building your dream home and the banks won’t even consider it.

We have been building to lockup for our clients for nearly 20 years. In this blog post, we explain what Owner building from lock-up is, and what services you can expect from us.

  • Building to lock up is when the builder builds the main structure of the house. This includes, walls, roof, windows, wall and ceiling linings, and doors on and the house locked.
  • The owner finishes the remainder of the home with their own trades, in their own time frame.
  • When Owner building or building to completion with a builder, the following must still be in place
    • insurances, workers comp, in course of construction, public liability
    • approvals,, shire, planning and building, water,
    • fees to BCITF, and building services
    • licenses either Owner builder permit or Builders registration
    • white card (safety)
    • safety management system
  • If Owner building from lockup, the builder provides a 6 years structural warranty for the main structure of the home. All insurances and approvals are in put place for the main structure by the Builder.
  • Some clients ask us to build past lock up, eg,
    • internal doors and frames,
    • plumbing
    • electrical,
    • cabinets,
    • painting. etc and only the final fit out is done by them.

Why Owner build from lock-up?

There are a number of reasons people want to Owner-build their home or build to lockup stage rather than completion:


You may have intended to Owner build your new home, but the banks won’t lend to you.

Most banks, however, may lend funds if a builder builds the main structure of the home.
Because registered builders must provide indemnity insurance policy and a 6 year structural warranty. We, as the builder provide your bank with all information to approve your loan

Some of these are:.

  • Contract works and in course of construction insurance certificate
  • Public liability insurance certificate
  • Home Owners warranty (Indemnity insurance certificate)
  • Design compliance certificate
  • Shire approved plans
  • Building permit
  • Builder’s registration certificate
  • Contract breakdown (fixed price)

Friends and family 

You may have a lot of friends and family who are trades in the building industry. They may offer their service at mate’s rates. You may be a tradie yourself, and want to do a lot of the work finishing work yourself.


You may only be able to build the home to a partially complete stage with today’s financial commitments. You may want to build the structure now and complete the remainder when you have time or can afford it.

Lack of time or knowledge

You may be someone who likes getting your hands dirty and organising things.
But you lack the time or knowledge to do correct quantities and programming the building process. You many find the whole process daunting or time consuming. When we build to lock up, we take all the hard work out of the building process. We apply for insurances, permits, do all the quantities, order the products and program trades to build the structure of the home.
Our registered builder oversees all projects so you can rest assured he understands the complexity of the engineering reports, Australian standards, BCA (Building Code of Australia) etc.


When you owner build, you are restricted from owner building again for 6 years. However, if you build to lock up with a registered builder, that restriction is not an issue. The building permit and insurances would have been applied for in the builder’s name and registration

Completion and build to lock up

Central Avenue Homes have been building custom designed homes since 1998 and homes to lock up since 2004.  Building to lock up is not a new process for us, we have built single storey, double storey, 3 storey and multi unit developments to both completion and lock up from Bunbury to Butler.

If you’d like to speak to our in house designer regarding Owner building to lock up please contact us on 9456 3366 Mobile: 0403 132 174 or email us on [email protected]

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