Common traps and tricks
● an extremely low quote compared with others. This may indicate the job’s quality is being compromised, or that the builder may not fully understand what is required
● `sales pitches ́ putting pressure on you to sign a contract quickly to avoid a price increase
● a builder who recommends you get an owner-builder permit while they organise all the building work. The builder may be trying to avoid responsibility and may not have the right kind of licence or Home Building Compensation Fund certificate.
When things go wrong Statutory warranties
Builders and tradespeople must guarantee that their work is fit-for-purpose, performed diligently and delivered in a reasonable timeframe, in line with the contract. Unless otherwise specified, materials should be new and appropriately used. These warranties are time-limited: legal proceedings to enforce them must be commenced within 2 years for all defects, and 6 years for major defects. There is another 6 months for both warranty periods if the defect only became apparent after 18 months or 5 and a half years. Find out more about these warranties on the Fair Trading website.
Resolving a dispute
These steps can help you resolve a dispute:
● you must notify your builder or tradesperson and discuss concerns as soon as you become aware of a problem. Follow up with an email or letter or phone call.
● understand acceptable work standards by downloading the Guide to Standards and Tolerances from the Department of Fair Trade website – click the link below
● contact Fair Trading for free dispute resolution if you and your builder or tradesperson are unable to resolve the dispute – click the link below
● lodge a claim with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal if you remain unsatisfied with the dispute resolution outcome – click the link below
● protect your rights under the Home Building Compensation Fund: contact your insurer as soon as you become aware of defective or incomplete work – click the link below
DUE DILIGENCE IS ENCOURAGED AT EVERY STEP OF YOUR DECISION PROCESS ALWAYS TALK TO PREVIOUS CUSTOMERS BEFORE YOU ENGAGE A BUILDER OR TRADESPERSON