Building or renovating? Be prepared to navigate the treacherous waters of working with builders and tradies! But fear not, dear homeowner, for we are here to guide you through the choppy seas of construction. In this blog, we'll spill the tea on everything you should know before starting a project with a builder. Get ready to become the master of your own renovation domain!
When searching for a home builder, you're basically looking for someone to help bring your dream home to life. So, to avoid any potential nightmares, here's what to look for first, licenses, certifications and accreditations are essential. Every home builder should be properly licensed and insured in Queensland, so make sure to check this out before committing to any project. For instance, to build and renovate a traditional single-detached residence in Queensland, you'll need to look for a QBCC Class 1 Builder with a residential building license.
Secondly, make sure you're hiring someone with experience in your specific project or design type. This can be easily checked by looking through their portfolio of past projects, as well as reading customer reviews. Portfolios should be a good repre¬sentation of the builder’s experience and range of services, so make sure to check for recent projects and customer testimonials. Once you successfully complete a project with a builder that you like working with you may even offer you repeat business.
Finally, check out their cost estimates and payment terms. Make sure to compare different quotes from different builders, as well as the payment terms that are included. Will you be paying in milestones or at the completion of the project? Is there a deposit required upfront? All of this should be laid out in the contract before you sign on the dotted line.
It's time to chat about one of the most important parts of a home-building project: contracts. Getting the builder right is key, but making sure you're both on the same page when it comes to the scope of work and costs is crucial. So, let's get down to the nitty-gritty!
A good contract should also include information on warranties, payment timelines, insurance coverage and dispute resolution processes. It should also clearly outline the scope of work, materials used and estimated costs. Having a detailed contract in place will help to ensure that your project runs smoothly and to completion.
QBCC is the Queensland Building and Construction Commission – an independent regulator for the building industry in Queensland. It regulates consumer protection, licensing, contracts, insurance and dispute resolution.
They produce a number of contract documents that are designed to help protect both the builder and homeowner involved in a construction project. These contracts provide a comprehensive outline of their roles and responsibilities, thus helping to ensure the project runs smoothly and with minimal disputes.
The QBCC offers domestic building contracts and commercial subcontracts that come with all the necessary forms and schedules to document and carry out your building project conveniently.
If you're about to dive into the world of home construction contracts in Australia, here are the most typical types to get yourself familiar with:
- Lump Sum contract: good for predictable projects with a fixed budget. A lump sum is an agreed-upon price between the homeowner and builder that covers all labour and material costs. Therefore, it's the builder's responsibility to accurately estimate the project costs and adjust their prices accordingly. If the job ends up costing more than expected, they bear the burden.
- Cost Plus contract: a bit riskier, as it involves an agreed-upon fee for labour and materials, plus a percentage of the total cost as a management fee or profit. This type of contract is good if you want to monitor costs as the project progresses and make changes if needed.
- Small Jobs or large job contracts: these are contracts tailored to fit small- or large-scale projects. Typically, the homeowner agrees to pay a fixed amount for all labour and materials needed to complete the job.
- Design and Construct contract: the most complex type of contract, as it involves a builder who designs and manages the entire project. This is ideal for large-scale projects where the builder has great experience in similar projects.
No matter what type of contract you use, make sure to read it thoroughly and understand all the details. This will help you ensure that everyone involved is on the same page, and will give you the assurance that you will get exactly what you’re expecting. Also, make sure to compare different quotes from different builders and payment terms included.
Regarding deposits, if the cost of your building work exceeds $20,000, you are allowed to pay a maximum deposit of 5% of the total contract price which includes labour, materials, and GST. However, if the contract price ranges from $3,300 to $19,999, the maximum deposit is 10%.
The easiest way to find a licensed contractor is using the QBCC's free find a local contractor online search. Simply enter your postcode or suburb, and you can access a list of qualified builders nearby.
It's also worth visiting industry websites, such as the Housing Industry Association's (HIA) website or The Master Builders' website. Here, you can find articles, reviews and ratings of local Brisbane builders. You can also ask friends and family for referrals or contact your local council to see if they can provide any useful recommendations.
Looking for a builder? Look no further than Livit Construction Brisbane! Our team of experts can handle projects of any size or complexity, from small renovations to new home construction projects. Trust us to bring your vision to life!