Owner Builders

WHO IS CONSIDERED AN OWNER BUILDER?

Any individual or group of individuals who own the property on which they plan to construct, alter, repair, improve, or remodel a building or structure is considered an Owner Builder. 

IS AN OWNER BUILDER REQUIRED TO HAVE A LICENSE?

An Owner Builder is exempt from licensure, but there are limitations.  
 
A license is not required if:
              The owner builder dos the work himself or herself or through his or hew own employees with wages as their sole compensation and the structure(s) is/are not intended for sale.
              The owner builder contracts with the properly licensed subcontractor(s).  (This exemption applies to the construction of a single-family residential structure and limits the number of structures intended or offered for sale to four or fewer in a calendar year.)

IS A HOMEOWNER REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A LICENSE IF HE/SHE WANTS TO IMPROVE HIS/HER HOME?

A homeowner improving his or her principal place of residence is exempt from licensure if all of the following exist:

              The work is performed prior to sale;

              The homeowner resides in the residence for the 12 months prior to the completeion of work; and,

              The homeowner has not taken advantage of this exemption on more than two structures during any three-year period.


DOES THE OWNER BUILDER EXEMPTION APPLY TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO BUILDS HOMES FOR RESALE (SPEC HOMES) AND ARE THERE ANY LIMITATIONS?

Yes.

The owner builder exemption would apply to an individual who builds homes for resale under any of the following conditions:

              Licensed tradesmen are hired to perform all work on the project (provided no more than four structures per calendar year are intended for resale).

              A licensed general contractor is hired to perform and/or subcontract the completion of all work on the project.  (No restriction on the number of structures completed per calendar year.)

              The owner builder performs the work, all or in part, and resides in the completed structure for one year prior to resale. (Applies to not more than two structures in a three-year period.)




(For more information regarding owner-builder, see Section 7044 of the Business and Professions Code or The Risks of Being an Owner-Builder under the "Consumers" section of this website.)