5 things to know before signing a building contract

A building contract is undoubtedly one of the most important legal documents you’ll ever sign. What may seem like a humble piece of paper is actually the key to unlocking your dream home – and ensuring you get there without any glitches.

However, if you’re not used to legal terms, building contracts can seem difficult to decipher and boring to wade through. The worst thing you can do is sign without reading and understanding every detail carefully. Here, we reveal the top five things you should know before signing on the dotted line.

1. Clarify the details

Before you commit, make sure you understand every aspect of the building process. Find out exactly how your chosen builder likes to work and how involved you can expect to be. You’ll want to know how they plan to keep you updated throughout, how often you can expect site visits and what the protocol is if you want to make changes after construction has begun. Changes can be very time-consuming and costly, so you’ll want to know exactly what your builder is open to and how much they would charge if you made changes along the way.

2. What’s included (and excluded)

No one wants to get to the end of a build and realise certain items are missing. To avoid disappointment, ask your builder to take you through their ‘exclusion from services’ list in detail. Things like landscaping, gardening and fencing are often not part of a building contract and may need to be sourced separately. Make sure you and your builder have discussed exactly what your payment covers so you can budget for any additional costs.

3. Your builder’s reliability

Every project is unique, so you need to make sure the builder you’ve chosen is right for you. Explain in detail what you expect and your desired timeframe. Important questions to ask are the size of the team, whether they will be managing other jobs during the build and how you can get in touch with them during the process. A reliable builder will have plans in place to ensure you can always reach out for updates on your home.

4. The timeline and payment schedule

You and your builder need to be on the same page when it comes to schedules. It’s important to agree exactly when each element will be finalised, and on which dates you will need to make payments. By agreeing on these terms, you can budget properly and make any important arrangements such as finding temporary accommodation while your home is being built. A responsible builder will provide you with an allocated time period for construction and an estimated start date, allowing for potential delays such as weather-related issues.

5. What insurances are required

No one likes to think about things going wrong – but should the unthinkable happen, you need to make sure you’re covered. Your builder should always provide you with a copy of their QBCC home warranty insurance. In the unlikely event something happens to your builder, this is what will ensure you are fully covered for any costs. You should also ask your builder for proof of indemnity insurance, public liability and contract works insurance.

To find out more or discuss plans for your dream home, get in touch with the friendly team at Adam Mason Homes today.