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VBA LogoDo-it-yourself web videos appeal to the home handy person but could be providing advice that leads to poor and even illegal outcomes.

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) warns that certain jobs around the home are not only best left to the professionals, but legally can only be done by someone who is registered or licensed to do the work.

VBA Director Enquiries and Dispute Resolution David Wolf said consumers need to be wary of online DIY videos.

“Many websites, online videos and blogs with advice  and instructions on DIY jobs don’t take in to account Victorian building and plumbing regulations,” Mr Wolf said.

DIY Video“For example, in Victoria, apart from repairing or replacing a tap washer and changing over a water efficient shower head in a dwelling, it is illegal to carry out plumbing work if you are not a registered or licensed plumber. And any structural building work must be done by a registered building practitioner.

“When engaging a builder or plumber, ensure the individuals are registered or licensed to do that work. You can check they are registered or licensed at www.vba.vic.gov.au and clicking on the ‘Find a Practitioner’ link.”

Victoria’s building and plumbing regulatory systems are designed to protect consumers and ensure building and plumbing work is done to the required standard and by competent practitioners who must be registered or licensed.

Building practitioners must be registered with the Building Practitioners Board (BPB) to legally carry out domestic building work costing more than $5000 (including labour costs and materials). And plumbing practitioners must be registered or licensed with the VBA in the class of plumbing work they are doing. Where the value of work, including materials and labour, exceeds $750, it must be done by a licensed plumber who must provide a Compliance Certificate, which certifies the work complies with prescribed plumbing standards.

“There are significant penalties for anyone doing plumbing work without being licensed or registered,” Mr Wolf said. “When you are looking to engage a plumber or builder, ask to see their registration or licence ID card.”  

The VBA and Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) deliver free advice and assistance to resolve domestic building disputes through Building Advice and Conciliation Victoria. CAV also has checklists for renovators and consumer involved in building at www.consumer.vic.gov.au/building. For more information about building and plumbing in Victoria visit the VBA website www.vba.vic.gov.au.

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