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Owner Builder Course

"Even our contractor said if he decides to build himself another house, he’d look at buying a pre-fab package. He’s very impressed with the materials included and the thought that went into the planning." - Tim Dubreuil, Flin Flon, MB

Thinking of building your own home? Concerned about passing the Owner Builder exam that is now mandated by government for Owner Builders? Winton Homes has the solution for you!

Winton Homes has partnered with Owner Builder Training Ltd. to offer an online comprehensive educational session that covers everything you need to know about building your own home as an owner builder and assisting you in passing the mandatory Owner Builder Exam.   

AS AN ADDED BONUS:  Winton Homes will credit the cost of an individual seat for the Owner Builder Training course to apply to your Winton Homes Package after proof of successful completion, and passing the mandatory Owner Builder Exam has been received. An $800 value!  

What is the Owner Builder exam and when did it come into effect?

  • One of the new hurdles a person wanting to build their personal home will face is the newly required Owner Builder Exam through BC Housing (formerly known as the Home Protection Office, HPO)
  • Came into effect July 04, 2016
  • Up until now Owner Builders aren’t getting any guidance from BC Housing other than a brief Owner Builder Study Guide. 

Exam Criteria

As an Owner Builder you must manage the construction of your own house. The Exam will test your knowledge in two key areas:

Construction Basics

The Exam questions on construction basics — approximately two thirds of the exam — will test your basic knowledge of being your own general contractor. This includes:

  • Understanding construction sequencing and scheduling
  • Understanding basic building code requirements for each major component of a home
  • Understanding an owner’s obligations for site safety
  • Supervising construction trades
  • Interacting with construction professionals and building inspectors

If you have previous experience in construction you can refresh your knowledge by studying the following (much of which is available online):

The list below gives a detailed breakdown of what you must know on the construction basics competency:

1.1 Construction Management and Supervision
1.1.1 Design and project plans
1.1.2 Financial management
1.1.3 Risk and time management
1.1.4 Construction sequencing and scheduling Management of sub-trades
1.1.5 Jobsite safety and Workers Compensation
1.2 Permits and Inspections
1.2.1 Building permit
1.2.2 Inspections
1.2.3 Occupancy permit
1.3 Site Preparation and Foundation
1.3.1 Soil conditions
1.3.2 Foundation and drainage
1.3.3 Crawl space and basement finishing
1.4 House Framing
1.4.1 Floor framing Best practices Sequencing Materials
1.4.2 Wall framing Best practices Sequencing Materials
1.5 Roofing
1.5.1 Roof framing
1.5.2 Flashing types
1.5.3 Roofing materials
1.6 Building Envelope
1.6.1 Exterior finishing and cladding
1.6.2 Windows and doors
1.6.3 Decks and balconies
1.6.4 Electrical outlets and vents
1.7 Regulated Trades
1.7.1 Plumbing
1.7.2 Electrical
1.7.3 Gas fitting
1.8 Insulation
1.8.1 Insulation types
1.8.2 Components and application
1.9 Interior Climate Control
1.9.1 Heating options
1.9.2 Ventilation and air tightness
1.10 Interior Finishing
1.10.1 Wall and ceiling finishing
1.10.2 Cabinets and countertop
1.10.3 Flooring
1.11 Chimney and Fireplaces

Statutory Obligations and Requirements

You must be familiar with the obligations of an owner builder, as laid out in the Homeowner Protection Act and Regulations. These questions comprises just under one third of the exam.  In particular, you should familiarize yourself with these sections:

  • Part 7 (sections 20 and 21) of the Act
  • Section 23 of the Act
  • Section 4.1 of the Regulations
  • Section 19 of the Regulations

This list gives you a more detailed breakdown of what you need to know:

2.1 Ownership of Land
2.1.1 Acceptable options for registered interest in land
2.1.2 Title requirements and transfers of title
2.2 Building Intention
2.2.1 Type of residential construction project
2.3 Occupancy Intention
2.3.1 Occupancy duration
2.4 Property Usage
2.4.1 Differences between personal use and restricted uses
2.5 Owner Builder History
2.5.1 Amount of time between prior Owner Builder Authorizations
2.6 Construction Management
2.6.1 Personal involvement in construction activities
2.7 Statutory Protection and Liability
2.7.1 Personal liability for home
2.7.2 2-5-10 year components
2.7.3 Optional owner builder home warranty policy
2.8 Disclosure Requirement
2.8.1 Owner Builder Disclosure Notice
2.8.2 Real Estate Board Property Disclosure Notice
2.8.3 Offering owner-built home for sale
2.9 Homeowner Protection Act Offences and Penalties
2.9.1 Homeowner Protection Act and Regulation non-compliance
2.9.2 Administrative orders and penalties

Here’s what Warren Jones, President, Owner Builder Training Ltd., has to say:

The “Owner Builder Authorization” course was developed and initiated because we found those who wished to write the compulsory HPO exam had nowhere to obtain professional instruction and information that would assist them in passing the exam and bring them one step closer to their dream – to build their own home.

Here’s what a few of our customers have said about the Owner Builder Training sessions:

“Hi everyone! Darren wrote the test on Wednesday and got word today that he passed. Good luck to everyone who has yet to write. Thanks to Warren Jones for a great course and wonderful customer service. We're still looking for a great bar chart timeline if someone has one!”  - Mary Lestage

“If you want to pass the owner/builder exam, take the Owner/builder Training course. More importantly, if you want to learn about the process of building your own home from planning to occupancy, then definitely take this course. Both Warren and Les are great instructors and bring a wealth of knowledge. Rather than the exam being mandatory, I think they should make this course mandatory. It really is that good!”  - Jeremy Leete

Ineterested in enrolling? Please visit the Owner Builder Training website.