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Volume 2 – What are my rights and what do I need to look out for during construction?

Engage an Expert Building Consultant

It is always a good idea to have an expert building consultant inspect all construction work of the Builder to ensure that all works have been carried out as intended and pursuant to the plans and specifications in a proper workmanlike manner.

Good Communication

You should always communicate with your Builder about any concerns you may have to ensure that you have an understanding of what the process is that you agree on any matters of concern in order to avoid disputes later.

Visiting the Construction Site

You have a right to visit the building site during construction of your home provided that you do not interfere with the construction. If you interfere with the site or construction, the builder may be able to seek any costs from you relating for delays or damages with providing you with 5 days notice of his intention to do so. It’s best to organise a weekly or fortnightly meeting at the site with your builder to view construction and discuss any concerns you may have.

It is good practice to speak with your Builder prior to attending  the site to make sure that  there are no occupational health and safety issues to consider.

Do as you are obligated pursuant to the Contract

If you haven’t made all your selections at the time of signing your Domestic Building Contract, or provided the builder or tradesmen with any goods they need for construction, the builder will be entitled to suspend works and seek damages from you for delaying construction. It’s a good idea to have things organised in advance.

Don’t pay the Builder or Tradesmen prior to the completion of the stage

Your builder is not entitled to progress payments in advance or prior to the completion of a stage. If you pay in advance, domestic building insurance  won’t cover you for any claims made for payments made in advance. A building surveyor usually has to inspect each stage and pass before the stage can be passed as competed. You should ask your Building Surveyor for copies of any reports.

Make sure all Variations are in Writing

All variations should be agreed upon and signed prior to any works commencing in accordance with those variations so as to avoid any disputes later about costs or the scope of those variations.


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