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Be prepared

Having a thorough contract that reflects your needs is the first step to setting clear expectations with your builder. Make sure you understand your contract. See Agreements and contracts.

Make use of expert advice from other building professionals. For example, architects or building consultants can provide advice on contracts, check the quality of the work or speak to the builder for you. See Roles and responsibilities to understand the types of professionals that may be involved in your project.

Consider that circumstances beyond the builder’s control may impact on your build and be ready to approach any difficult conversations in an open manner.

Be informed

Do research about building and renovating to understand the process and the types of work involved. Look at online resources such as building forums, educational websites or instructional videos and understand common building terms.

Understand your responsibilities as the owner and the responsibilities of your builder, building surveyor, and other professionals at Roles and responsibilities.

Before raising an issue, understand the difference between defects and non-compliance at Unhappy with the standard, quality, or finish as your options for resolving issues may be different.

Be involved

  • Even if you hire a builder to manage the whole project, you should check the progress of the project throughout and communicate regularly with your builder
  • Keep in contact with the building surveyor and any consultants, such as an architect or engineer
  • You have a legal right to reasonable access to your property. Visit the site if you’re not living there, but let them get on with the job.
  • Ask questions and if you think there’s an issue, raise it early
  • Offer positive feedback about work or the project team if you’re happy with them
  • Keep notes on important discussions and confirm them in writing. This includes not only the contract, but any changes to plans, conversations, questions and clarifications
  • If there is an issue, you must speak to your builder and try to resolve it informally before going through a formal dispute resolution process.

Read more:
CAV | During construction - checklist

Tools and links

Page last updated: 27/09/22