Our homes are often our biggest single investment.

So, whether you’re the home owner or the builder, it’s important that you lay the foundations correctly with a secure contract before building or renovating a home.

Make sure you get your written contract checked by a lawyer as there are numerous terms and conditions which are unique to building contracts. For example, Full contracts, Labour Only Contracts, Managed LabourContracts and Turn Key Agreements.

Whilst you don’t need a contract for work under $30,000 it is advisable.

The contract must be specific and all relevant plans are attached. If any changes are later agreed, be very clear about any additional costs and keep any emails recording these discussions. It is always best to deal with contractual issues in writing.

Provisional Cost sums – the costs specified in the contract which often relate to appliances or the kitchen fit out and whiteware – is an area to navigate carefully. The final costs may be very different to the Provisional Cost allowed in the quote, so where possible, make your choices early and specify exactly what you want.

Pay careful attention to only paying progress payments that reflect the value of the work done, and not prepaying. If a building company fails, you are an unsecured creditor for any prepayments.

You also need to ensure your building design and the materials used comply with any restrictive covenants on the property. This is not policed by local authorities and the granting of a building consent does not imply compliance.

Talk to us today, we’d love to help ensure a smooth experience and that perfect home.

Published in the Weekend Sun (April 26, 2019)