Do I need a building contract?
The answer to the question is always going to be “YES”. Without a valid contract between you and your builder, you do not have any security, no recourse, no guarantees, no terms of reference and you are seriously at risk in all aspects of your project from start to finish. In today’s world, it is not a question of who you trust and who you don’t. It is simply a question of protecting yourself and your assets.
Signing your builder’s quote is a valid contract between you and your builder, by which you agree to pay him for certain work and for the price that he has quoted to do that work. There is seldom any clause in the average builder’s quote that protects you in the event that the builder does not fulfil the obligations that are stated in his quote. In many instances, builders are deliberately vague with the terms of their quotes and this could lead to interpretation difficulties later. The terms and conditions in any builder's quote will always favour the builder and offer very little (if any at all) protection for you.
There are a number of recognised building contracts that are suitable for smaller projects that can be purchased or downloaded. The Master Builders Association offers the MBA Contract as well as the JBCC Minor Works Contract which can be purchased from them. (
) A basic Building Agreement can also be downloaded free from Free Legal Docs , (search “Building Agreement”) or you can download the Free Legal Docs document here . Please note that this document should be used as a basis for drawing up your own Building Agreement.
If your builder is unwilling or indeed unable to sign any of the above contracts then you need to question his ability to undertake your project.
The bottom line is, protect yourself! Don’t start with any building project without one of the above-mentioned contracts signed between you and your builder.
If you require more information, please contact us.