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The Owner Builder Exam

  1. Overview
  2. Eligibility
  3. Exam Criteria
  4. Where to Take the Exam and Exam Schedule
  5. Taking the Exam
  6. Final Assessment

3.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:

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

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