Altenative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

If you just want an opinion from an Industry Expert of the best outcome if you were to take the matter further and before you commit to a Lawyer or lodge a formal complaint to DMIRS Building and Energy. Then you can decide on which direction you wish to take. (If you lodge a complaint to Building and Energy you lose control and the dispute then takes on a momentum of it’s own sometimes taking years) There can be many options and all come with a risk. The lowest ADR, CCA adjudication, Small Claims to Arbitration, The Courts, and ultimately the SAT. (not recommended)

ADR is like the Marriage Counsellor’s view not the Divorce Lawyer’s


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The appraisal of the documents, contract and the requirements of the CCA 2004 Act, and any emails of the “he said, she said” stuff you think you can rely is a good starting point. If it’s a workmanship issue a site visit is required. It is always cheaper (sometimes at the subby’s expense) to fix than to argue all day over a few millimeters and will it devalue the house when finished. I’ve heard “It’s the first thing you notice when you enter the room” when there are river or ocean views.

The Australian Standards (AS) are referred to in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and most Building Licenses are issued subject to compliance with the BCA, There are acceptable tollerances and even Building and Energy have this guide:

Click here ****************

The intention of the Construction Contracts Act 2004 is pay now and argue along the way so the project gets finished and all the workers get paid. It was ammended 1 August 22 but all the disputes I am currently dealing with are contracts signed before this date. It is a stand alone piece of legislation dealing with payments only and forms part of any construction contract. Dispute resolution mechanisms like the SAT and the Courts remain in place. The CCA 2004 legislation provides for payment to the builder of moneys due under the contract. Work proceeds and the resolution of differences are concurrent. The completion of any building project is essential for the free flow of money to the economy. Builders can then pay their suppliers, their sub-contractors and also their working capital is free to take on other work. This in turn keeps the wheels of industry turning. Stalled projects hurt everyone. Disputing parties can resolve their differences at their leisure without any burden on the working man.

Building Disputes come from nowhere. Things can appear just fine when all of a sudden things change and a while later you can’t be sure what started it. It becomes like the Charles Dickens story “Bleak House”.

Most people don’t know how the First World War started. Fifty million dead and no one remembers why, tragic!

A common cause these days is opinions from everyone (friends, relatives and neighbours and they are all experts like the old taxi drivers)  They mean well but may make you feel uncomfortable with comments like “that needs attention” and “I suggest” etc.

Misunderstandings can also arise:

Formal Dispute Resolution click here: