Building Inspections

Update

Using a Building Consultant During Construction

We often find with our clients that they are overwhelmed, confused or just too busy to thoroughly investigate work that needs to be done by their builder. Our team can help you through this difficult time. We can offer a full range of building consultancy work to help. Not just prior to the construction, but also during the construction we can assist you with any discrepancies or anomalies that you are unsure about to ensure that your project is completed as per the scope of works.

We can assess a builder for licenses and registration, go through the contract for you, ensure you are paying a reasonable rate for the work that you require, complete the inspections to ensure that they meet the current Building Codes and Standards required - any concern that you have, we can guide you through.

In our experience, we have found many clients who could have avoided confrontations or building litigation if they had some building consultancy advice prior to or during their building work.

We can assist in building renovations, construction of properties, trades work - any area of construction - we can help you to get through this sometimes stressful time.

 

 

Building Consultants for Builders

A Building Consultant can assist builders during construction too. We have qualified ex builders on our team who can assist you during the process of constructing or renovating a property with your clients. When you need independent mediation or advice in regards to issues, we can help with variations at the end of projects. We can also carry out inspections during the construction on any issue to provide an independent opinion to help resolve disputes.

 

 

Litigation Matters

In our line of work we see too many people who have let their building matters escalate and have paid too much money to a builder who is not providing the service that was promised. If you feel like this is you, then we can give you building consultancy advice for your matter. We can also mediate on your matter so we can find a resolution prior to the issue becoming a more costly exercise and avoid litigation.

BUILDING REGULATIONS AND CHANGES IN INSURANCE

NSW Home Building Act

The warranties that are required by the builder to be provided when working on a residential building were changed in NSW. The Home Owners Warranty Insurance is no longer required by the unit building which more than 3 storeys of residential construction (excluding the car parking, commercial and basement), but the builders1 warranty is still required.

These changes are applicable from 15th January 2015 and will include, (but are not limited to) the following:

  • For all major defects, a warranty of 6 years and for the other defects, a warranty of 2 years.
  • Clarification of when the work of the building will be completed. This clarification may include the period when the work is practically complete or expected to be occupied.
  • For all the building work above $5,000, official contracts will be required.
  • For contracts above $20,000, a cap amount of maximum 10% to be deposited.
  • $340,000 will be the minimum mandatory Home Owners Warranty Insurance.
  • The term major defect will be replacing the older used term of structural defect. This will be including all the important elements of the building such as waterproofing and fire safety systems. The word defect will be used to highlight the breach of a statutory warranty to a building failure.
  • Those who are not covered by the major element definition, are safeguarded by the 2 year (builder’s) warranty. The obligation to mitigate loss applies to the homeowners.
  • If the homeowners are aware of the defect within the first 6 months, they can make the claim.

Resolution of Disputes

Attempts will be made for identification of the defects in the building during the early stages. In the present times, most of the cases incur significant costs and take a considerable amount of time to be resolved as legal solicitors are involved in the claims and the technical reports largely vary between the two parties that are involved. Attempts will be made to identify defects early on and overcome problems related to incomplete pleadings, adjournments, problems of cost recovery and ambit claims.

An order can be directed to prevent the rectification work from being stalled, as it will oblige the consumers to pay off any amount of money under the contract with the builder.

Reasonable access must be provided to the builders in order to perform the rectifying works. The Court or NCAT can order nullifying of the work orders and prevent the homeowner from applying for a money order, if the homeowner refuses to provide builders with the access. The discussion over repeat offenders is also being carried out, where if the builder refuses from undertaking a work order, it can be regarded as a criminal offense and may also result in imprisonment of the person.

Owner Builders

  • Builders/Owners are required to present the names of all the owners of the property. A named owner will not be allowed to apply for a permit for 5 years.
  • Builders/Owners cannot obtain statutory insurance and if the property is sold within the period of warranty, it must be stated in the contract that statutory insurance does not apply to the property.
  • For work over $20,000, contractors who are working for the builder/owner will have to provide insurance certificates.

Insurance

Since owners tend to perceive that they have insurance that can be claimed from the “Home Owner Warranty Insurance” the term will be changed. Several items that have been mentioned above, along with other factors determine the cover. The Home Owner Warranty will now be known as Home Building Compensation Fund.

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    Using a Building Consultant During Construction We often find with our clients that...
"Thanks very much Claire, I appreciate your help and assistance. Gabby, Craig and yourself have been just wonderful in assisting my elderly Mum with this unfortunate case"
-Sharon Sampson
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