When you work with a home builder, a number of checks and balances have to be made, otherwise you can end up losing money – or worse – the construction halted on your dream home.
This happened to someone building a home in Winston Hills, New South Wales recently. They contracted a home builder, who had falsified the certificate of cover that is required under law, for any work in excess of $20,000.
The owner of the property realised they had not received the appropriate certificate to indicate insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund, and the Wamberal-based home builder was found out and subsequently fined.
Performing rigorous checks for the certification of your builder is crucial – but where can you do this?
Checking with the authorities
When it comes to verifying a building insurance certificate or general home builder’s registration, you can do this with the following authorities across the country:
– The Home Building Compensation Fund in New South Wales
– The Victorian Building Authority
– The Queensland Building and Construction Commission
– The WA Department of Commerce
– Consumer and Business Services South Australia
– The Tasmanian Department of Justice
– The NT Building Practitioners Board
As Rod Stowe, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, points out, it is extremely important to check these certifications before you do anything else.
“Do this before work starts and before paying any money. Without it, you will not be able to be compensated for defective or incomplete building work if the builder dies, disappears or, as in this unfortunate [Winston Hills] case, becomes insolvent.”
The point at which a domestic building insurance certificate is required differs from state to state. For example, in Victoria the threshold for the value of building work is $16,000, and it will cover costs up to $300,000.
How much cover you get is going to differ significantly from project to project and state to state. Don’t lock in a policy or work with someone until you are absolutely certain they are trustworthy and that the cover is legitimate. When you need to find out more information about a home builder, these checks will form one of the most important parts of the process.
A good starting point for finding the right house builder for your upcoming project is on Unlock Property. With an extensive database of customer reviews on house builders, you can get the full picture on the best professionals to partner with.