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Frequently Asked Questions

Please call us or use the enquiry form at right if you can't find the answer to your question in the list below.

What should I do first to organise my home renovation / home extension / new build project?

It all starts with research! Researching your project before you decide to go ahead will assist in the smooth running. Next is know your budget. Once you have your budget in mind and your finance available then you can progress to the design stage. For a project of more than $95,000, you may need an architect/draftsmen (we work with some very talented architects and draftsmen). Your engaged architect/draftsmen will then provide details of the approval process and arrange for your project to be submitted to your local Council.

What is the difference between a Registered Builder / Building Company / Contractor Tradesmen?

Our registered builder will project manage your home renovation or home extension project to ensure that the assigned team of tradesmen are licensed, skilled, punctual, work efficiently, and produce high quality workmanship.

What is a Registered Builder's License?

A registered builder's license or building company is only valid within the state or territory that issued the license. Trade licenses serve to identify who is a registered builder or building company and that they are qualified to perform and project manage your home renovations or commercial renovations. This is an important qualification, after all you are allowing tradesmen to build or renovate your most expensive asset. Always check the license of any tradesmen or building company before accepting their services. Below are the various issuing bodies within Australia:

What insurance does a Registered Builder / Building Company / Licensed Contractor require?

All NSW Register Builders / Building Company / Licensed Contractors undertaking domestic building work beyond a certain value ($20,000), must obtain an Insurance certificate from the Home Building Compensation Fund.

An Insurance Certificate must identify you as the property owner, the builder and the insurer, and give the address and description of the building project.

Additionally, Registered Builders / Building Company / Licensed Contractors must have Public Liability and Contract Works cover.

What type of contract will I need?

If the cost of labour and materials exceeds $5000 then you must be provided with a typed or written contract in plain English as required by law. Generally, a contract will provide you with a checklist to follow and detail the Registered Builder / Building Company / Licensed Sub-Contractors legal responsibilities and your legal responsibility under the said contract.

In most States, local statutory authorities produce a consumer guide which sets out the inclusions in a standard building contract. In addition, you can obtain a plain English copy of the contract from either the Housing Industry Association of Australia, the Master Builders Association or the Department of Fair Trading. Building Works Australia will always provide our clients with the Housing Industry Association Contract.

What permits are required by law before we start our project?

Before starting to renovate you may need a Development Application or a Construction Certificate. Both are provided by your local Council and you must obtain a Development Application before you can be issued with a Construction Certificate.

A Development Application confirms that your plans fit in with the building regulations and you must have this before you can commence your renovations or build.

To obtain a Construction Certificate for work exceeding $20,000 you will need your Registered Builder / Building Company / Licensed Sub-Contractor to show evidence that they have access to The Home Building Compensation Fund.

In some cases, a Development Application and Construction Certificate is needed even when the value of work is less than $20,000.

What are Prime Cost items?

A prime cost item is a Registered Builder / Building Company or Licensed Contractors allowance of the cost of delivery and fitting of appliances, or other such items which you have not selected at the time of signing the contract. If the actual cost is less than the allowance, then we happily credit you for the difference and if the cost is more then we will issue an invoice for difference to be paid.

You should pay particular attention to these allowances when comparing building quotations.

What Payments am I required to make and when?

A Deposit of 10% will be required depending upon the value of your contract. A 20% deposit may be requested when your contract is under $1000.

Progress payments may also be required under your contract. For example, major renovations may require a payment prior to ordering, base stage, framing stage, lockup and fixing stages.

For smaller jobs progress payments are set out in your contract.

What are variations to the contract and when will they apply?

Variations occur when you change the specifications, plans or scope of works. If this results in project costs increasing or the project taking longer, then this is classed as a variation to the original contract. All variations should be detailed and priced in writing by your Registered Builder / Building Company / Licensed Contractor and then signed by both of you before the work starts. It should then be attached to the original contract.

When does the contract start?

Builder’s contracts usually commence the day you sign the contract. This is called the “Contract Date” but it may not be the starting date for your project or the date by which the building time is calculated.

The starting date (commencing date) is usually the first day work is performed on your site.

The contract finishes once the premises are safe for occupation, a Certificate of Final Inspection has been issued by your local council or private certifier (if required), and of course that you as the owner you are happy with the workmanship that has been completed.

How can I be sure that the job has been done correctly?

You can engage a Private Certifier to inspect and issue you with a Certificate of Final Inspection. This is normally undertaken for major home renovations and new home construction.

When is the final payment under the contract due?

A Registered Builder / Building Company / Licensed Contractor should only seek final payment when all work detailed within the plans and specifications of your contract are finalised to your satisfaction.

When the renovation is complete and safe for occupation your builder should provide you with your Certificate of Final Inspection, as required by most Councils.

In most states it is the owner’s responsibility to obtain a certificate.

What if there are problems or defects. How long am I covered?

The defect liability period under the contract does not cover normal wear and tear or third party supplied products such as stoves or electrical appliances that are covered under a separate manufacturer’s warranty.

  • General defects (that are not major defects) are covered by a 2 year warranty.
  • Major defects are generally covered for six years.
  • 13 weeks for maintenance coverage.

I have a general enquiry. Who do I contact?

Please call our general enquiry number on 1300 36 38 36 or email us at brian@buildingworksaust.com.au

Brian Babbidge - Managing Director, Licensed Building Professional brian@buildingworksaust.com.au

Ann Babbidge - Office Manager, Customer Service   ann@buildingworksaust.com.au

To request a residential or commercial maintenance service, please contact us during business hours (Monday - Friday 7.30am - 5pm) on 1300 36 38 36 or (02) 8006 2002, for after hours assistance on 0418 980 958 (Brian Babbidge), or use the Enquiry form at right.

 

 

 

 


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