A lot of builders use standard form contracts, which (surprise, surprise) end up favouring the builder. Whilst building or renovating a house can be exciting, it can be frustrating when things don’t move as quickly as the builder said they would.

A few points to note about building contracts:

  1. Check what extra costs are involved – in some cases, builders don’t have to get your approval for a variation, which can result in additional costs being payable by you. They can also charge you a fee for just quoting a variation. Its important that you get this checked so you know what extra costs you may be up for.


  1. Check what you need to do if there is a dispute – there are often a number of things you need to do in order to raise a dispute and get it resolved. The contract should have good alternative dispute resolution clauses that enable the resolution of disputes without going to court. But beware: some organisations have the right to appoint their own representatives as the referee or conciliator!


  1. Know your rights when it comes to termination – if the builder terminates, what recourse do you have? do you know if you can get a refund of your deposit? Under what grounds can you terminate? These are all important questions that should be answered before you sign the contract.


Also check that your builder has the appropriate license. In SA you can check the Consumer and Business Services website at https://secure.cbs.sa.gov.au/OccLicPubReg/LicenceSearch.php

Got a question about a Building Contract? Get in touch – call 1300 272 878 or email enquire@interpretcontracts.com.au.

Want your building contract reviewed? Upload it through our Client Portal and get advice back from a qualified lawyer within 2 business days.


Interpret Contracts services clients in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Hobart and regional Australia.

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