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How to avoid disputes

Once your building work starts, it is important to document and discuss all aspects with your builder/contractor to avoid disputes.

What causes disputes?

Disputes occur for many reasons, including:

  • inaccurate or incomplete documentation
  • poor communication
  • unsatisfactory work
  • delays
  • little knowledge of building practices.

Avoiding disputes

With your builder or contractor

  • Understand the sequence and key parts of the building process – we recommend you attend one of QBCC's monthly Consumer Seminars.
  • Ensure your builder or trade contractor is QBCC licensed for the work to be done.
  • Ask for references from your contractor’s past clients so you know the quality of work to expect.
  • Maintain open, regular communication with your contractor. Poor communication is one of the biggest causes of building disputes.

Over contracts and payments

It is important that you take note of the terms and conditions within the contact as it specifies the responsibilities of both homeowners and contractors. Areas to look into include:

  • Your contract should state the extent and timing of work to be done, total price and payment details.
  • Understand your contract rights and responsibilities, in particular the ‘cooling-off’ provisions.
  • Get a copy of the Contract Information Statement and any foundations data before signing a building contract.
  • Ensure you and your contractor sign the contract and keep copies.
  • Document any changes/variations you and your contractor agree on.

Related Pages

See Defective building work.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
5/02/2014 1:31 PM

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