Do It Yourself

DIY owner-builder

There’s nothing more rewarding than building something yourself from the ground up—and with the Do It Yourself option you can do exactly that. You will be classified as an owner-builder and will be responsible for all of the building work completed on site, in the same way a licensed builder is. This includes overseeing tradespeople, obtaining the required council approvals, providing a safe work environment and ensuring the building is fit for purpose and can be occupied. As an owner-builder you will first need to apply for an owner-builder permit from the relevant authority in your state, which can be done online or in person.

With your permit obtained, you’re ready to start the build. Your YZY Kit Home arrives flat-packed and pre-cut on pallets, with an online instruction guide, drawings and tips to help the installation go smoothly. Each board is numbered for ease of use on site, so if you have some building skills, tools, and know-how around regulations and requirements, this may be a good choice.

You can build a YZY Kit Home yourself in 5 simple steps. To help you decide if the Do It Yourself option is the best choice for you, here’s a breakdown of how it works:

Within our pre-designed range we currently offer backyard cabins ranging in size from 10m2 to 30m2, and one or two-bedroom granny flats. You can browse the range online or arrange to visit one of our displays to see them in person. Another great way to find the ideal design is to browse our gallery of completed projects. You can view granny flats and backyard cabins separately, which gives you a sneak peak into the finished product, where you’re sure to source plenty of design ideas and inspiration. If you wish to custom design your cabin, see the process here.

Once you’ve found a design you love, it's important to find out whether it can be built on your property. Contact your local accredited YZY builder to arrange your site assessment. For a small fee they’ll perform a site visit to learn about the access, slope, vegetation, location of services and any other groundwork that may be required to prepare the site. They will also complete a desktop assessment to find out the lot boundaries, and to check if the land is situated in a location that is prone to flood or bushfires, or anything else that will impact the planning process. Then you'll have to think about the size of the decking area you'd like to have, your roofing colour and other locally sourced components for your build. With the above information on hand, the builder can forward a quote for supply of all materials you'll need to build your cabin.

Next it’s time to obtain the relevant surveys and reports that are required to obtain council permission to build, which may include a soil report, contour survey and energy efficiency assessment. If you are building a small backyard cabin to be used for a pool house or a shed you may not require planning permission in some states—your local builder will advise if this applies to your location and project.

With your land ticked off as suitable and your design choice finalised, it’s time to order your kit and prepare the site for delivery. This will primarily involve preparing your foundation, making sure you have the equipment and expertise ready to complete the installation, and organising service connection (electricity and plumbing). It’s important to get the foundation right and it can be challenging, so some owner-builders choose to outsource this aspect to our builders and then manage the build from there.

With the foundation and connections in place, you are now ready to construct your YZY kit! It will arrive pre-cut, with all components delivered to you ready to install, and you can follow the drawings and online instructions to install the cabin. Installing the roofing is another challenging task, but keep in mind that even though you are doing it yourself, you can still access support, advice and onsite training from our builders to help you complete each step (speak to your builder about any additional costs that may apply for this service).

With construction complete, it’s now time to add the finishing touches, like fittings, cabinetry, paint, flooring and furnishings. Have fun decorating the interior to suit your style and enjoy your new backyard space!

For more detailed information on planning requirements, how to build our kit homes and more, contact your local builder for expert advice.

DIY case studies