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What To Look For In A Queensland Building Contract

Building contracts are an important necessity to ensure that your rights and obligations are met. According to the Queensland Domestic Building Contracts Act, a building contract is legally needed if you undertaking domestic building work worth $20,000 or more.
At Shelton Homes, you have peace of mind knowing that all of the contracts and legal items associated with building a new home will be made very clear, without any fine print. We don't expect any of our clients, especially first home buyers to know or have the time to learn about all of the legals associated with building a new home and we can help explain all of this information so that you're fully informed.
In fact, all of our clients are taken through an in-depth design and construction process that we have developed over the last 20 years. You can see what our clients say about the Shelton Homes approach here.

A Queensland Building Contract Is For Your Protection

 As well as offering you a safety net, building contracts provide a binding agreement that can be used as a basis for legal action if anything goes wrong. Although we recommend you seek professional legal advice if you have any concerns whatsoever, here is what to look for in a building contract:

1. A Detailed Overview Of The Planned Work

Long story short, if your building contract doesn't have an in-depth analysis of what work is to be carried out, do not sign it! When reading through your building contract, ensure everything you and the builder agreed on is included.

2. Consumer Building Guide

In Queensland, it is against the law for your builder to give your contract to you without the Consumer Building Guide. If you are talking to a builder who does not point you to this, that's a huge red flag! We recommend reading the Consumer Building Guide thoroughly and give us a quick call if you need help understanding any area of the guide.

3. A Building Contract Should Include All Of The Costs 

In order to avoid hidden fees, ensure that every cost is listed. While Shelton Homes are highly experienced home builders and layout all costs from the get-go, keep in mind, not every builder may be aware of the exact costs at the time of signing the contract. Here are some costs less that experienced builders may not include:
  • The engineering, design & council fees which often includes inspection costs and planning permit fees.
  • Allowances for prime cost items such as fixtures and fittings.
  • Warnings about any allowances for Provisional Sums that may increase the contract price.
While we outline all costs from the get go, we also urge you to ask us about anything and everything to do with your contract, as this is something the team at Shelton Homes pride ourselves on. We are more than just builders. You can meet the Shelton Homes team here.

4. The Building Contract Cooling Off Period

The Queensland Domestic Building Contracts Act states that the buyer is entitled to a five-day cooling off period after signing the contract. However, withdrawal may result in a fee. It is important to check that the cooling off period is written in the building contract prior to signing, so please always check for this before signing a contract.

5. Building Contract Payment Schedule

The payment plan should always be included in the business contract. Upon reviewing your contract, make sure it covers:
  • The initial deposit, description for each stage and percentages that are expected to be paid during the building process.
  • Ensure that you are not expected to pay more than 50% before half of the work is completed.
  • There should always be at least 10% of the total cost left for any contingencies.

6. Your Home's Construction Time

It is your right to agree on a specific time period in which the building work is to be completed. Ensure your contract contains a clear, agreed start and completion date, and also look at what constitutes as a reason for any delays. If you sense something isn't right, ask the builder you're talking to. This is also another area to spot red flags, as some builders may not tell you their schedules and you could sign a contract that means building won't start for months, sometimes years.

7. Make Sure Your Contract Is An Official Master Builders Building Contract

To protect yourself, don't accept just any contract, make sure your contract is an official Master Builders building contract that ensures all Queensland laws and regulations have been met. Master Builders are the leading Australian regulatory body that Shelton Homes work closely with. You can read a little more about Master Builders on their website, if you are interested in their standards, and why we believe every builder should be a Master Builder member and in Queensland QBCC certified: www.mbqld.com.au/

Shelton Homes Are Qualified, Experienced and Trusted Toowoomba Builders

With quality checkpoints embedded into our construction process, we have been working with clients in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs communities for over 20 years, building solid, beautiful family homes. We know what matters, what makes a successful home, and most important of all what is legal. Get in touch with the Shelton Homes team today if you would like to learn more about how Shelton Homes can make your building contract easy and understandable.

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