Building a house can be a stressful process. Before you get started, it’s critical you are aware of your rights and obligations and also those of the builder.
Prior to engaging a builder, you should complete your own due diligence on the following:
- Research who the builder is
- Discover what reputation the builder has
- Look at other properties completed by the builder
- Talk to other people who have used the builder.
You also need to be clear on:
- The requirements of your lender during the build (if any)
- What consents are required and when they should be applied for
- Whether the building contract encompasses all aspects of the build (consents, labour, materials etc.)
- How long it will take to complete the build.
If you are thorough with your due diligence before entering into a building contract you are less likely to discover hidden costs or suffer delays.
If the cost of the build is anticipated to be over $30,000 then the builder is required to provide you with a building contract. There are four types of documents your builder needs to provide you with:
- A written building contract to be signed and dated before the work starts
- A Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise (“MBIE”) consumer protection checklist
- An MBIE disclosure document
- Copies of the various documents such as insurance policies, guarantees and warranties.
Most disputes that arise under a building contract arise from miscommunication and misunderstanding around costs, quality and the responsibility each party has during the build process so it’s extremely important that you consult your lawyer before signing any documents. We know what we’re looking for!