With many people looking to renovate, there are a few simple steps that need to be taken to avoid disputes, even with the most pleasant of trade’s men/women.
Most building industry disputes that are referred to Building Commissions are due to defective building work. Other causes for disputes can be contractual issues, personal pride, poor communication, poor documentation, the complexities of owner expectation and limitations of contractor ability.
There are many reasons why building disputes occur:
- Owners may be genuinely dissatisfied with finishes that actually meet minimum industry standards. For example, ‘acceptable imperfections’ of finished work can apply to aspects of concrete finish, painted surfaces, brickwork etc.
- Contractors may genuinely consider that completed building work is adequate despite the fact that it fails to meet minimum industry standards.
- Poor documentation also contributes to many building disputes. Documentation from building contracts often does not convey the complexities of owner expectations or limitations of contractor ability.
What should home owners do to avoid disputes?
- Understand the sequence and key aspects of the building process
- Make sure the builder, trade contractor or building designer has a current licence or builder’s registration for the work to be done
- Ensure the contract clearly specifies the extent and timing of work to be done, total price and payment details.
- Ensure the rights and responsibilities of all parties are detailed in the contract and understood
- Make sure the contractor gives you a copy of the contract information statement and any required data before signing their contract
- Ensure the contract and any variations are signed by both parties (and copies are kept on file).
Houspect can always assist with an investigation report if required.