• Who can I ask if I need help?

    Building or renovating your home is an exciting time but planning and managing your building project can be overwhelming.

    There are four Government Agencies that can help your building project go to plan. These agencies offer free information and advice that will support you through your building journey.

    CAV logo and linkDBI logo and link to homepageVBA logo and linkDBRDV logo and link to website

  • What do I need to do before I build?

    Understand the building process

    'decorative'Insuring your building project is an important part of the building process.

    The Victorian Government’s step-by-step guide can help you find other useful building information, including how to choose a registered builder and advice on understanding your building contract.

    Find out more

    Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) provides online access to a wide range of information and checklists that can assist you with planning and managing your building project or renovation.  


    Know what to look for when choosing a building practitioner

    Builders must be registered with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) before they can undertake any domestic building projects. Prior to registering a builder, the VBA assess builders to make sure they have the appropriate skills to complete a job.

    To find out more about building practitioners and if your builder is registered visit VBA.


    Before you sign the building contract

    • Carefully review the contract.
    • Consider obtaining legal advice about the contract.
    • Know your rights and understand the law regarding deposits and progress payments. For more information visit CAV.
    • Confirm your building project is insured.

    Talk to your builder

    • Ask your builder if they have purchased DBI for your building project. They are required to provide you with a copy of the DBI Certificate of Insurance. You will be emailed a copy of the DBI Certificate of Insurance from VMIA.
    • If you do not receive a copy of your DBI Certificate of Insurance, contact your builder.
    • You can check to see if your builder has purchased DBI for your property by submitting an online request for a Property Search.

    Sign the building contract

    • Request a complete copy of the executed contract from your builder and keep it in a safe place with your DBI Certificate of Insurance.

    You can now start your building project with the confidence that you understand the process, your builder is registered with the VBA and your building project is insured.

  • What do I need to do during my build?

    You've started building or renovating. How do you make sure things continue to go to plan?

    • Visit Consumer Affairs Victoria for general building advice and checklists that can guide you through the building process.
    • Maintaining good communication between you and your builder will help your building project stay on track.

    Sometimes the unexpected happens and things don’t go to plan. If your builder is unable to complete the contracted building project because they have died, disappeared, become insolvent or failed to comply with a VCAT order (if the policy was issued from 1 July 2015), you may be eligible to make a claim with us. To find out more visit making a claim.

    • Take steps to secure your property. If you are eligible to make a claim with us and you require emergency works to prevent further damage to your home, find out more here [PDF, 518KB].

    If you can’t make a claim with VMIA because your builder has not died, become insolvent, disappeared, or failed to comply with a VCAT Order (if the policy was issued from 1 July 2015), but your home has defective works or is incomplete, or you have a domestic building dispute with your builder, you can contact Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) for free building information and advice. You can also access helpful information on resolving building disputes on the Consumer Affairs Victoria's Building disputes, defects and delays page.

  • What do I need to do after my build?

    After your building or renovation project is complete, ensure that:

    • All contracted building works have been completed to the agreed standard; and
    • You’ve received your Certificate of Final Inspection or Occupancy Permit.

    If you discover your property has defective works that your builder is unable to rectify as they have died, disappeared, become insolvent or failed to comply with a VCAT order (if the policy was issued from 1 July 2015), you may be eligible to make a claim with us. To find out more visit making a claim.

    Your DBI is valid for up to 2 years after completion of the works for non-structural defects and up to 6 years for structural defects.

    • Take steps to secure your property. If you are eligible to make a claim with us and you require emergency works to prevent further damage to your home, find out more here [PDF, 518KB].

    If your building project is complete and you can’t make a claim with VMIA because your builder has not died, become insolvent, disappeared, or failed to comply with a VCAT Order (if the policy was issued from 1 July 2015), but your home has defective works, is incomplete or you have a domestic building dispute with your builder there are other options you can pursue.

    You can contact Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) for free building information and advice. You can also access helpful information on resolving building disputes on Consumer Affairs Victoria's Building disputes, defects and delays page.