Information for Owner Builders
Owner Builders may build their own home with or without a warranty in place.
Under the New Home Buyer Protection Act, owner builders may apply for authorization to construct a home without warranty in place. This is done through the Owner Builder Application for Authorization process. If approved, the authorization will allow the owner builder to build their home without a warranty in place. More information is available below under Owner Builder Criteria.
If you are building a home with a warranty in place, you do not need to complete the Owner Builder Application for Authorization process. However, you must register the home in the New Home Buyer Protection System and indicate the warranty provider that you have a contract with. A request to access the New Home Buyer Protection System can be made here. A list of warranty providers is available here.
Owner Builder Criteria
An individual must meet certain criteria to be eligible for an owner builder authorization. An authorization allows an owner builder to build their home without warranty. An individual must:
- intend to reside in the new home for 10 years;
- be the registered owner of the property where the home will be built;
- intend to personally engage in, arrange for or manage all or substantially all of the new home's construction;
- not have contravened the Act;
- not have received an owner builder authorization in the past three years; and
- not been ordinarily resident (only applies to persons 18 years of age or older) in a new home for which another individual was issued an authorization in the past 3 years.
A corporation is not eligible for an owner builder authorization.
Owner Builder Application for Authorization Process
Owner builders can apply for an Authorization online through the New Home Buyer Protection System’s Builder's Portal. Signed originals of the complete application package must be mailed to the New Home Buyer Protection Office.
Owner builders must take the following steps to apply for an owner builder authorization:
- You need to become an authorized user of the New Home Buyer Protection System Portal. You will need to submit a request for access to the system in order to complete your Owner Builder Application for Authorization. Owner-builders can request access to the portal by submitting a NHBPS Access Request. If you are unable to view the NHBPS Access Request application above, please contact the New Home Buyer Protection Office at NHBPS.email@example.com. Access request applications will be processed in approximately three business days.
- Apply for an owner builder authorization. This will include stating your intent to personally build the home and live in the home, indicating whether you have a registered interest in the land, and paying the applicable non-refundable fee of $750.
- Include a questionnaire and affidavit of execution from each person on the land title.
- Once the originals have been received in the New Home Buyer Protection Office, your application for owner builder authorization will be assessed. If it is approved, you will be able to apply for a building permit.
- The average processing time for complete Owner Builder Applications is 14 business days. Applications which are incomplete at the time of submission may take longer to process. Applications without a fee payment will not be reviewed.
- The $750 fee is non refundable.
- If an applicant is applying for a mortgage on the new home, it is strongly recommended the applicant speak to their mortgage provider prior to submitting their Application for Owner Builder Authorization. Some mortgage providers in Alberta do not provide a mortgage unless there is warranty on the home.
Once the authorization certificate is approved, applicants will be contacted by email.