Yahoo! Tony passed the Owner/Builder exam

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.

Adapted to a BC Coastal Rainforest

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.

Using IBC containers for rainwater 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

5 thoughts on “Yahoo! Tony passed the Owner/Builder exam”

    1. We are really excited… the architect has almost finished with the modifications to meet the BC Building and the new National Energy Code. This is going to be one hell-of-a building! Can’t wait for the build to begin. Let me know if you are interested in volunteering!

  1. Any chance that someone would like to sell or share their training manual? since the “study guide” online does not contain any links No other Province in Canada requires this test.

    1. Hi Lorraine, I too have tried in vain to locate or purchase a training manual. City Hall in Penticton has a copy but will not let anyone look at it, even though tax dollars paid a city inspector to take the course. My wife and I want to build a prefab from Linwood homes, had an engineer check and stamp the plans and now cant proceed. I have completely built 2 recreational homes prior to 2016 and this one is to be on a very remote island in the Gulf Islands where we cant get a General contractor to help us. Any leads to the study guide would be appreciated

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