If you get through an entire renovation or new build without running into problems, you’re in the minority. Few construction projects go off without a hitch. The process of renovating or building a home is complex and leaves plenty of room for error. With that said: how you and your contractor handle any disputes makes all the difference.
Builders who are reputable will want to ensure that you sign off on a job well done. After all, the building trade is competitive and contractors have a reputation to uphold. The issue that you face is that you likely don’t know all that much about the construction process, which may leave you guessing when it comes to potential defects.
A builder dispute may arise due to major defects or other less serious defects that impact on the quality of the finished project. If you spot defects or your builder brings up issues that will change what was agreed in your contract, try to avoid becoming angry or confrontational. In most cases, discussing the problem and agreeing on a solution is the best way forward.
Issues that may trigger a dispute with your builder may include defects, pricing disputes, and construction delays. You hired your builder to deliver on the work outlined in your plans or design. The contractor’s and any other tradesperson’s conduct on site may also become the subject of dispute. You have the right to expect a high standard of craftsmanship from every member of the contractor’s team.
Going in all guns blazing will likely exacerbate the situation. It is always better to attempt mediation as the first step with addressing a builder dispute. If there are conflicts due to aspects of the build, you may find that the builder is contractually obligated to deliver a particular standard. If the relationship has become so strained that independent discussion is not an option, you may seek help from an outside mediator.
The Northern Territory Government website provides excellent resources for consumers who need help in the form of mediation. The site will guide you through your options, depending on your role in the project and the type of dispute you are trying to resolve.
If you are hiring a contractor to carry out renovations on an existing property or for a new build, payment disputes are something you will want to avoid. Again, you can turn to the Northern Territory website for help in resolving the dispute so you can complete the project.
Before getting too far ahead of yourself with a renovation or new build, think about hiring a reputable company to carry out state construction inspections. Builders and other tradespersons are expected to adhere to the Building Code of Australia Standards AS4349. An experienced and proficient building inspection can provide a detailed and easy to understand report on each stage of the build, providing you with an expert assessment of the work as each stage is completed.
A building inspection company that takes advantage of the latest innovations in technology could give you the upper hand when it comes to builder disputes. An accurate report, detailing defects at each stage, will allow you to have a more constructive conversation with you builder about rectifying those defects before work continues.
Knowledge is power, as they say, and Houspect has the experience and tools to keep you informed throughout your renovation or new build. Call our Northern Territory office today on 1300 258 789 if you would like more information on building inspections and the reports that we provide to homeowners.