Owner builder theft is rife. As an owner builder, you want to protect your property and valuables onsite. With the proper security measures, you can avoid the hassle and headache of theft or vandalism. This article will discuss eleven tips to minimise theft onsite so you can have peace of mind and complete your building project safely.

Owner Build Targeted

An owner builder takes on the role of managing and overseeing the construction of their home. This includes obtaining all the necessary permits, organising tradespeople and suppliers, and carrying out or coordinating the building work. 

While owner-builders usually save money by doing some or all of the work themselves, it’s essential to know that additional risks are involved in this build. One of these risks is theft from the building site. 

Unfortunately, thieves often target construction sites for expensive tools and equipment. This can cause significant delays and cost increases for an owner builder, so taking steps to minimise the theft risk is essential. 

Here are some tips to help secure your building site:

Steps for the Owner Builder to Minimise Risk

As an owner builder, you must minimise the theft risk on your site. 


Ensure your site is well-lit, both day and night. This will deter thieves and make it easier for you to spot any suspicious activity.

Security lights:

Install security lights around your property to deter thieves and make it easier to see if someone is on your property.

Lock Doors and Windows:

Sounds easy! Unfortunately, when you have quite a few people coming and going to your worksite, they can be forgetful and leave windows and doors open.  As the owner builder, you must set the expectations from the beginning that all windows and doors will be locked.


It’s a directive from most Local Governments for the owner builder to erect temporary fencing around the building site.  Temporary fencing also affects on-site security; fencing deters opportunistic theft and vandalism.  Having the owner builder’s details on the site signage helps identify the construction site if you need to be contacted if an incident has occurred. The HIA encourages fencing amongst other deterrents. 


If you don’t know them already, get to know your neighbours and give them your contact details. Residents can play a pivotal role in reporting sceptical activity.  A box of chocolates or a bottle of wine works well in helping them to remember.


As the owner builder, you must be mindful of coordinating deliveries; they should be delivered when your tradespeople install them.  Timing is essential, you need to reduce the time you have materials sitting onsite.  Owner Builder Checklist can help you with these timelines. 

Concealing Items:

At lockup, use the garage to store materials.  Hold off installing appliances until you are living there.  Carefully discard packaging, so thieves do not know what items have been installed. Cover windows and glass doors with newspaper.  This way, potential thieves cannot see packaging or goods through the glass.

Alarm Systems

It is essential to have an alarm system installed on your owner builder building site to deter thieves and vandals. Various alarm systems are available on the market, so it is essential to research to find the one that best suits your needs.

One type of alarm system that can be used on building sites is a motion sensor alarm. These alarms detect movement in an area and trigger an alarm when movement is detected. This can be an effective way to deter thieves as they will be alerted to the presence of the alarm before they even enter the property.

Another type of alarm system that can be used on building sites is a CCTV system. This type of system can be used to monitor activity on the property and can help to identify any potential thieves. CCTV systems can also deter potential thieves, who will know they are being watched.

CCTV Cameras

Adding CCTV cameras to your building site is a great way to deter thieves and help secure your property. Here are some tips to get the most out of your CCTV system:

  1. Position your cameras carefully. Consider the areas of your property most vulnerable to theft and position your cameras accordingly.
  1. Make sure your cameras are visible. Thieves are less likely to target a property with obvious security measures.
  1. Use high-quality cameras. Cheap, low-resolution cameras may not be able to provide the level of detail you need to identify criminals.
  1. Store footage safely. Keep your camera footage stored securely off-site so that it can’t be tampered with or deleted by thieves.

Secure Storage Areas

Securing all storage areas on your owner builder building site is essential to deter thieves from stealing materials, tools and equipment.

There are a few things you can do to secure storage areas:

– Install security lighting around storage areas

– Install security cameras in and around storage areas

– Keep storage areas locked at all times

– Store valuable items in locked cabinets or safes

– Mark all tools and equipment with your name

Keeping Track of Materials and Tools

One of the most important things you can do to secure your building site is to keep track of all your materials and tools. This may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few simple steps you can take to make it easier.

First, list all the materials and tools you need for your project. This will help you track what you have and need to purchase. Second, label all of your materials and tools with your name. This will help deter thieves from taking your property. Third, keep your materials and tools organised and in one central location. This will make it harder for thieves to access them and will make it easier for you to keep track of them. 


As an owner builder, properly securing your building site is essential to ensure that all your hard work and investments are safe from theft. It can be daunting to think about how best to protect your project, but with these tips for securing a building site, you can rest assured that you have done all you can to keep it safe. With the proper security measures in place, your construction project should remain secure to stay on track for success. If you need assistance from our Owner Builder Coach, contact us at [email protected] or fill out the contact form.

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