In BC, if you want to build your own home, you have to have pass the Owner Builder Authorization Exam.
Passing the exam means BC Housing will send us a New Home Registration Form (NHRF), which we then take to the Regional District of Nanaimo to get our building permit for a single family home.
Tony and I attended an intensive 2 day owner builder exam preparation course put on by OBT; a training program provider authorized by BC Housing to deliver the training materials. The instructor Warren Jones was a wealth of knowledge and shared freely his experience, knowledge and building skills. Thanks Warren for a really great couple of days!
The days were solidly packed with learning and with their hefty 392 page training manual which Tony studied from end-to-end, prepared him well for writing the exam. Tony, along with 3 other fellows from the course wrote the exam at Vancouver Island University. I used to work at VIU (when it was Malaspina College and through the transition to Malaspina University-College), so I found myself a corner on the campus to read and sip tea.
Getting back to the classroom training…
Here’s the outline of the course offering:
Module 1 – Introduction
Module 2 – Home Owner Protection Act
Module 3 – What You Need To Know About Inspections
Module 4 – Pre-Construction Preparation
Module 5 – Getting To The Framing Stage
Module 6 – Framing To Lockup
Module 7 – Lockup To Interior Finish
Module 8 – Lockup To Exterior Finish
Module 9 – Final Inspection – Occupancy
Module 10 – HPO Application Process
It was great for me to have the opportunity to sit in on the training too; a few extra dollars well spent as it means we both now understand the basics of our owner builder responsibilities. It will also make for a safer build- WBC compliant – as we understand our safety responsibilities for our site; volunteers and contractors.
We also benefited from the sharing of the learners in the classroom. There was a very wide range of people in attendance. We connected well with others, like us, looking to stretch the envelope using grey water management, rain water collection.
Jeff, our new friend, told me about IBC containers being used for rainwater collection. We bought 4… here’s a sneak peak at how we are putting them to use.
We look forward to carrying these new friendships through our build and beyond. Learning from what others do is such a great way to increase our own personal knowledge and experiences.
Once we have the building permit, we are ready to start construction! Construction is planned for summer 2018. We are looking for volunteers to help with our ‘Earthship inspired’ build.
If you are interested, want to volunteer, or just have questions; contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.