Always Check to see if you are dealing with a registered builder
It’s not something you think will ever happen but unfortunately it does. People make bad decisions and place their home or a substantial amount of money in the hands of a builder without doing a builder licence check. Here are some tips to help you understand if you are dealing with a registered builder.
It’s a good idea to understand the building process even if you are using a registered custom home builder such as Renmark. This is our builder registration number: Registered Builder DBU – 22805
How do you know if your builder is registered?
Below we share some tips in order to find out if a builder is registered and some warnings.
Do your research
If you’re not sure if your builder is registered you can contact the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). This is our builder registration number: Registered Builder DBU – 22805 (Sam Bernardo) Then, to make sure you are comfortable with the builder, find out if they have some referrals from people who have had work done by the builder you are considering. When you speak to those referrals ask them about the type of work that was done, how long it took, did they sign a contract for the work, did things go as planned and if not, was it handled professionally. Overall, find out if they were happy with the builder.
Do some online research and find out how long they have been building for. Have they got a website but even more importantly, are they available to talk to via email and phone to keep the lines of communication open throughout the job. Find out if there will be a project manager assigned to the job.
2. Check the deposit amount you are expected to pay up front.
While it is not unreasonable to expect to put some money in to get your project started, you want to make sure the amount is not excessive. Many builders will take a small holding deposits to start the design process. In this case it is wise to get something in writing that clearly states what you are getting for the amount being paid and under what circumstances a refund is warranted.
3. Asked to Sign a Building Contract?
Having a building contract in place means there is understanding of what works are to be done and helps to manage expectations. By law, your deposit for building work can be no more than:
- 10 per cent, if the total contract price is less than $20,000
- five per cent, if the total contract price is $20,000 or more.
A deposit cannot be asked for before the contact is signed and the Domestic Builders Insurance (DBI) has been issued. Without the DBI your deposit is not insured should the builder die, disappear or go broke.
Alarm bells should ring if a builder demands a deposit (other than a small holding deposit) prior to a contract being signed and the DBI being issued.
Finally the contracts used should be industry contracts which are issued by the HIA (Housing Industry Association) or the MBAV (Master Builders Association of Victoria). If the builder doesn’t have one or want to sign one, this should ring alarm bells.