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Nova Design Group

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house designs

KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO READ THE BUILDING CONTRACT

For most people, it takes an
investment in time as well as
dollars to choose the right home.

With this level of time and investment, it is worth making the effort to read your building contract and understand the contents.

Builders and consumers are required to have a formal written contract which meets the requirements of the Domestic Building Contracts Act in your State or Territory.

The contract is a binding document between you and your builder and includes a variety of information including a start and completion date, details about progress payments and specifications for your new home.

Your builder may use a standard industry contract for domestic housing from their industry association or have a lawyer draft one.

Whatever the contract, it is important that you educate yourself on the document and the building contract process.

Contracts provide a baseline in case a dispute arises between you and your builder.

If the correct information isn't recorded in the contract, either as part of the original agreement or in a Variation, then it is not BINDING.

The following list are some handy tips to help you with the contractual process:

  • Make sure your contract includes a start and finish date, detailed plans and a clear statement about your cooling-off period.
  • Check your contract with a specialist building consultant or solicitor before signing.
  • Cross out all blank sections in the contract.
  • Check insurance details, particularly warranty insurance.
  • Ensure you understand the cost and any subsequent variations.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Domestic Building Contracts Act. The Act sets out a number of warranties that apply to all domestic building contracts, so the work carried out on your home meets its standards.
  • Understand the schedule of progress payments set out under Section 40 of the Domestic Building Contracts Act. Parties entering their own schedule of payments should seek expert advice.
  • Make sure variations are documented, understood and signed before work is commenced.
  • Be aware of a five-day cooling off period after signing the contract.
  • Document all work conducted from day one, and where possible try to get things in writing.
  • Taking regular photographs and dating them is a good way of recording the progress of works.