By: Annabel Sheppard
Building your dream home should not be a nightmare. With the right advice and information building a house can be a smooth process.

When reviewing a build contract with you we ask the following questions:

What is the reputation of the building company?
The main focus of this question is whether that  building company is reputable and whether the company is financially robust.

We also ask whether the building company have provided you with contact details of their previous customers so that you can investigate what the build process was like for them.

What are the terms of the build contract?
We explain the mechanics of the contract so that you feel comfortable with the process before you sign the contract and make sure the contract clearly sets out the obligations of the builder.

It is important that you make sure that the correct specifications have been included in the contract.

We also go over the payment provisions, including progress payments and timeframes.  It is also a good idea to make sure your bank is aware of these terms so they can structure your financing to suit.

You may also need to consider if there are any covenants or restrictions registered against the title to the land and what impact they may have on your building plans.

What warranties and guarantees are there?
You should consider what guarantees are included in the contract and also see whether a Master Build Guarantee is included.

It is important to consider what the maintenance period is being provided after the build is completed i.e. the time to notify the builder of any defects or incomplete matters.

What insurance is being provided during the build?
You should be provided with a copy of the builders contract work insurance and public liability insurance to ensure insurance cover is in place and is adequate.

Are there any unusual clauses in the contract?
All building contracts are different and each contract must reflect your situation and what you have agreed with the building company.  Ensuring that this is in order at the beginning of the process will prevent issues and arguments later.

We always recommend that we review the building contract before you sign.

Don’t let the excitement of the build  stop you from checking matters thoroughly; once you have signed the contract you are bound by its terms.

A majority of the ground work must be done at the outset of the build process to ensure the build process runs as smoothly as possible.

We can help you with the process and help ensure that you understand the terms of the building contract. Click here to download a pdf diagram of the process.

If you would like to know more about the building process please join us at our ANZ Build Seminars on 13 October 2013 and 3 & 5 November 2013. For more information please visit

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