The lack of attention to quality control by house builders in the Australian State of Victoria has been a contentious issue for more than two decades. In an attempt to improve the quality of housing, various mechanisms have been adopted and discarded by industry‐based organisations and government legislation. While builders are encouraged to improve construction quality, little is known and published about the quality of housing produced by owner builders. This paper presents findings from an ongoing research project that compares the defects in houses built by owner builders with those of registered builders. The initial findings suggest that there is no significant difference between the quality of housing procured by owner builders and registered builders. The functional elements within a house where defects are likely to occur are identified and discussed. The paper concludes by suggesting that the use of a registered builder’s management expertise does not necessarily guarantee a better quality product.