You can not be charged a variation for material or labour increases on a fixed price contract. (required by lending institutions)
The Home Building Contracts Act 1991 Part 2 s. 14 clearly states “A builder must not enter into a cost plus contract with an owner for the performance of home building work unless the contract is in writing and the written contract has a heading at the beginning that includes the words COST PLUS CONTRACT.” No resolution is required as such a clause is void, it is not part of the signed contract.
8M take a neutral position in dispute resolution assuming the builder was doing his best and the customer always intended to pay the full contract sum. This has been the case in most of the projects I have dealt with. Humans are intrinsically good people and know what is fair. They are grown ups and don’t need an expensive and timely Court procedure to show them, they are capable of doing this themselves. The builder knows if work is to a standard (after all they will be the person paying the trade) and the customer understands that payments are progressive, a payment on account to enable the work to continue. They understand it is not an acceptance of the work. This opportunity comes at the PCI stage where any work requiring improvement is noted and signed by both parties and completed by the builder in the agreed time stated in the contract.
8M specialise in Alternative Dispute Resolution to deal with ordinary people with eveyday problems. The existing system fails “the bloke in the street” taking too long and costing / risking too much. This applies to the DMIRS Building and Energy department and the State Administrative Tribunal combination who seem to try to put out fires with petrol. They both lack the expertise in reaching a resolution between the parties leaving at least one party feeling bullied into submission. It was never intended to be that way but that’s how it ended up.
The Australian way of life. Giving it a go. Getting a fair deal. Standing by your mate. Giving it your best shot. Giving and getting the benefit of the doubt.
A fair and independant view of the current system can be viewed here:
Building Disputes are always the same, one of the parties wants to renegotiate the contract by charging more / including extras or someone is not happy with something (for a variety of reasons not always building) and thinks by stopping the work / holding payment they will get their own way.
It doesn’t work like that.
There is usually a standard contract outlining how things like variations and extensions of time are dealt with. A payment is merely a payment on account in order that the builder can pay for materials and the workers. It is not an acceptance that the work is in accordance with the contract or the Building License. That comes at the Practical Completion Inspection prior to handover. This is a requirement of the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 (as the clause above about variations for increases) so everyone is well protected.
The role I take in all of this is peace of mind knowing the job was done right. (for the builder and the client) I understand there may have been a few hiccups along the way but all’s well that ends well.
Working up North, over East and Overseas in sub zero and plus 50 temperatures I have a good understanding of the site conditions. An airconditioned office does not provide this.
What I provide is an honest and fair outcome for the project given the circumstances. Project building can’t be judged the same as the million dollar mansions I used to judge. MacDonalds can’t be judged like Michelin 5* restaurants.
Nothing is perfect in building, even the multi million dollar mansions I have judged for the Homes of the year Awards for the HIA.
I have completed and handed over thousands of projects both large Commercial, Industrial, Mining and small residential. This is over a 50 year period winning many Building Industry Awards along the way and lecturing part time at Leederville Tech in the 80’s.
There are other experts with no experience.
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