is the first payment made in the building process. This is to
secure the contract and builder. Payments are spread over the
building process as each section reaches completion.
is when the first sod is turned
and although there is no payment in this section this may be
your first variation to a contract to compensate for digging.
Most normal house sites generally don't have problems as soil
tests are carried out at the order of your local council who
these days are quite updated on where problem sites belong.
Variations to a contract can be misunderstood so it is
important to document and agree before starting.
is your second payment and covers
areas outside of carpentry like the plumbing and electrical
rough-ins where necessary, termite protection, concrete slabs,
foundations or stumps. Now that you are out of the ground things
should begin to progress a little quicker. If there are any
issues raise them now.
is possibly the most impressive section
as the bare bones of the house are quickly seen through stud
frames. The walls are littered with all that brass and copper
or plastic for the plumbing and cables for lighting and power.
This is a good stage to consider getting telephone and other
services into the house so they may be well situated in the
floor plan. However this stage does mislead you into thinking
that the house is steaming along, and although it is, once those
walls go up and the cladding starts to go on things appear to
slow down. This time also seems to make people aware just how
small some rooms look and others look way too big. It is a bit
of an illusion at this stage because there is little to scale
things against. You would be surprised how much you can fit
in that space once you scale it against your furniture and not
the clear open spaces. With today's lifestyle there is some
merit in having a large open space that can be divided up into
bedrooms when the family comes along as prefabricated roof trusses
allow so much diversity. If there are any building issues
deal with them now.
& Fit-out is when
you finally get to put the key in the door (legally though the
builder holds it till completion). At this stage you may be
looking at several variations to your original design (hopefully
not) because it is at this stage that the fittings PC items,
start to go in bringing the house together. Again another payment
at this stage. If there are any issues raise them now.
is when the last tradesman has
left, the carpets are being cleaned, the builders rubbish has
finally been removed, and the house cleaners are finishing.
Now you are ready to move in and to do so you have to pay the
builder his final payment. At this stage most people are quite
happy but a few are feeling the strains and stresses of the
building processes. Delays due to bad weather, design variations
and material or labour shortage may
just be a few things that have gone wrong. And if you have been
storing up all those little items that bugged you from the very
beginning you may be feeling justified in withholding payment
from the builder. However you should have raised these issues
during the stages of the progress payments. He has the key,
he believes that he has attended all your wishes, and he is
entitled to believe that he should be paid. Remember he still
has obligations in regard to his building workmanship and housing
guarantee. A side issue at this stage is the ownership
of leftover materials. Unless the builder signs over
ownership of these materials the client should not assume
that these belong to them. To maintain an effective price
structure builders will buy in pack lots, charge the client
for materials used and use the leftover materials for the
next job, thereby reducing wastage and time delays. Do the
right thing by your builder and clarify this in your
contract right from the beginning. Another requirement at
this stage is the Certificate of Occupancy (C/O)
before you can move in.
is to be done and if your budget doesn't
stretch to a landscaper then get the ground levelled, top dressed
with good soil impregnated with lawn seed. Having lawn is more
important than trees as you don't want all that dirt coming
through your house. Once you live in the house you get to see
the most important views and can plan the garden layout with
sunlight and shade in mind. Oh...and the shed.
period is when any builder worth his salt
should call back after a period to inspect and repair any
workmanship defects. These should
not amount to anymore than an hour's work.
Disputes do happen
and I suggest you see a solicitor if you cannot amicably work
things out. But to me its a waste of money when a little genuine
could be used. If using a Professional, such as the Architect,
this limits your disputes in some cases. However there are
unscrupulous people out there that will take advantage of
your ambition to house yourself.
are required by all states in regard
to building work over a certain value. See your local authorities
or builders practitioners board.
For further information regarding
guarantees contact your local authority or do a search in the