So I realized that a lot of what I write about revolves around giving sound advice to help you avoid some common pitfalls when it comes to building or renovating your home… well, this one is no different.
Gone are the days when you could rely on a handshake. And gone are the days that trusting ‘she’ll be right mate’, means it really will be alright.
We hear so many stories of homeowners who thought they were getting one thing and it ended up being less than adequate, totally different or not included at all. This is with materials, products, styles, finishes…you name it, we’ve probably heard a story about it!
This problem came about because two key things were not addressed properly: being informed and being protected.
MBIE has a consumer protection checklist for homeowners. The very first thing on the list is BECOME INFORMED. Educate yourself on the process, but especially educate yourself on the quotation, contract and terms you are looking through: make notes, ask questions, ask for details to be added to the specifications if anything isn’t clear. Make sure you know and are comfortable with what is being proposed, what it does and doesn’t cover and who is responsible for what It sounds a bit generic, but if you are unsure of something, GOOGLE IT.
Once you are comfortable with the quote and everything that it entails, it is time to get protected! Any building work over $30,000.00 MUST have a signed contract. (But it’s not a silly idea to have a contract for works less than that too!)
The contract protects both parties if things go awry.
It should outline the work to be undertaken which matches the agreed specifications in the quote, the price, how and when payments are to be made, start & finish dates, how any variations will be agreed upon and what you can do in the event that there is an issue. It should also include the terms & conditions or terms of trade. Fine print like you may think is only good for bedtime reading, but it is really important to understand your obligations.
As a closing word of advice, you should expect that if it’s not written down and signed to, then its not been allowed for. Don’t leave it up to assumptions. Honest and thorough communication is the best policy.
It saves reputations, pride and budgets.
Contact us today about how we can help you with your build project, for some sound building advice, a chat or a laugh.
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