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What To Look Out For In A Building Contract

Building a house is a pivotal moment in people’s lives. It is the start of a new adventure, which opens doors to major and exciting possibilities. However, it can be daunting and confusing – especially when contracts are involved! A building contract is a cardinal piece of documentation that needs to be signed before construction, however, should only be done so after seeking advice from a trusted professional. An incomplete/ or incorrect contract can lead to cost overruns and leave you with little or no recourse under the law if a problem occurs. Which is why it’s important to never sign anything without 110% confidence. Here are some handy things to look out for when you are overlooking your building contract:

1. Timeframe
As this piece of documentation legally binds you to your chosen builder, checking the proposed time frame for the development of your new property is essential. This gives you a good understanding of the timeline and makes you aware that extensions may be permitted due to industry shut down periods or inclement weather just to name a few.

building contract

2. Price
Building is not a cheap hobby, so having a budget pre-decided will help take the stress out of the construction. You need to be certain that you are not going to be liable for site costs and many other hidden extras that can be within a building contract. This is why having a professional opinion will make sure you are not forking out extra cash you haven’t budgeted. Contracts work on milestone-payment terms, meaning payment is made when the builder reaches a certain point in the process. Having an advisor come and check the work done at each milestone will mean you are not overpaying a company for work that has been done at a lesser standard than required.

3. What Documents Should Make Up My Contract?
Ensuring your contract is made up of the required elements is pivotal as no signature should ever be placed on a contract that is missing vital sections. A building contract should contain your tender, special conditions, warranty, house plans, engineering plans and building specifications.

4. Sign And Countersign
While the excitement to grab the pen, sign and get started on your dream home will be tempting, making sure your document is thoroughly checked will save you a world of hassle in the long run. Taking the extra time to read twice, sign once will see that both parties are in agreement at the time of signing, meaning that pleas of lack of understanding, or responsibility, can’t be used later down the track.

building contract

5. Make Sure Your Contractor Is Fully Insured
Ensuring that your builder is aware of their insurance obligations will mean that you are protected if an accident were to occur in the construction process, including if your contractor died or went missing before the completion of your home.

6. Building Regulations
Though your trusted builder may seem credible and it is almost certain that their work will comply with building regulations, make sure this is specifically outlined within the building contract. Having this signed off on means you will be protected from any faulty or unsafe building practices that may compromise your home.

If you have any questions related to building contract’s or more broadly about the home building process, including finding the correct house plan, builder or developer, then don’t hesitate to call us on 1800 184 284 or book a call online at a time that suits you.

Manya Mehra


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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