Building or renovating your own home is almost a Kiwi rite of passage, but it can become stressful and expensive if you haven't done your research.  

To avoid budget blow-outs and costly last-minute changes make sure you do your due diligence on your chosen builder and the terms of the contract. Knowing what your builder’s quote includes,and what it doesn’t, will help ensure the building process runs smoothly without nasty surprises.

For building projects over $30,000 your builder is required by law to provide a contract and other documents pertaining to the build. These documents include a Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE) consumer protection checklist, a MBIE disclosure document and at the end of the job, any documents relating to guarantees, insurance, warranties and maintenance.

Building regulations are always changing so it’s important that these documents and your contract are reviewed each time you take on a new project.

It’s also important to have a lawyer review and explain your contract. The most common issues that arise with a building project - costs, quality of finish and delays – can be prevented, or at least mitigated, if both parties have a good understanding of the terms of the contract. Having a lawyer review everything prior to starting your build can ensure any red flags are raised before it’s too late.

The team at Lyon O'Neale Arnold are experts in contract and property law and can review your contract to help ensure a ‘no surprises’ relationship with your builder.

For more free legal advice join LyonO’Neale Arnold at the Library Law Series starting next week. The series offers a range of free legal seminars for both individuals and businesses. Head to formore information.