Building A New House
Sep 17, 2019 8:43 am
It has been suggested in this forum to negotiate a variation, which is properly worded so that progress payments will only be paid if a private inspector passes the build as per contract and per building regulations, but my builder called "Newchoice Developments" in WA does not allow that variation. Reason:
"The time for the building inspector to prepare the report delays the building."
One would think they keep on building anyway. So my next question was that that argument is correct, but at the end of the build the building has stopped anyway. I am waiting for a reply and so far have only signed the "Preliminary Contract".
The same person on this forum also suggested looking at the contract (HIA in my case, have asked for template) as it may include the legal phrase of "Liquidated damages". Looks like if you or I believe we can force a repair by not paying a progress payment, the unscrupulous builder can just sue for damages and there is no appeal. Great! Questions:
1 As I received several quotes and another builder now reduced his quote by many thousands of $ and I have not paid the obligatory $2k or $3k deposit, how much is it going to cost me to break this "Preliminary Contract" and talk to this other builder to give him my contract?
2 Looks like builders can just avoid fixing obvious defects even after inspectors have "recommended" them to be fixed and only by engaging a lawyer can a solution be found. Let me have one story of success with building inspectors.
Or tell me which organisation, like the HIA or gov. department will go in and bat for you and tell me a success story, please, I need that! By contacting a lawyer and TV one client managed to have the cracked house demolished.
Looks like the lobbying by the building industry with political donations has skewed the legislation in favour of builders.
Re: Building Inspector Assistance via "Variation in Contract2
Sep 17, 2019 9:17 am
There is no Building inspection legislation in WA (LOL, Wild West)
I would argue that is a good thing when one considers the problems now in Victoria
Building surveyors and engineers control code compliance and non compliance respectively,
IMO, Inspectors just add another layer or confusion
Re: Building Inspector Assistance via "Variation in Contract3
Sep 17, 2019 9:45 am
Thanks BIMguy. After sending a registered (certified) letter to builder with a list of problems and find no fix happens, shall I just get a lawyer to have it fixed or what? Or are you suggesting a surveyor or engineer? But builders are not bound by their opinion anyway. Suggestions are welcome for us sand gropers.
Re: Building Inspector Assistance via "Variation in Contract4
Sep 17, 2019 10:08 am
The lawyer will rely on the Building Surveyor or engineers data and proofs not Building Inspectors opinions.
Try to focus on the structural nature of the issue, The builder has their own engineers and will argue mostly it's an alternate solution, your engineer will need to dispute that.. I liken it to a card game the builder calls your bluff.. who's got the best hand wins.
What cards/ data are you holding, the builder holds nothing in the beginning..I mean they rarely visit your site?
Re: Building Inspector Assistance via "Variation in Contract5
Sep 17, 2019 10:19 am
Build has not started, only just signed prelim. contract. I will be looking at slab thickness, is it the 100mm I wanted? Is the steel F40 and is it sitting on chairs or does the concreter just lift up the steel, so it may not be in the top third and will be wavy?
I do not think a problem there can be called an "alternative solution", like a bug in a computer program may be called a "feature"?
Re: Building Inspector Assistance via "Variation in Contract6
Sep 17, 2019 10:53 am
Great your at the early stages, develop a good working relationship with the builder/trades.
Basically you hold the whip hand up until contract signing, after that the builder takes control,
The Quantity Surveyor certifies the initial construction drawings, your engineer should deal with critical structural inspections & non compliance which needs to be addressed before Stage/ Progress payment completion.
Re: Building Inspector Assistance via "Variation in Contract7
Sep 22, 2019 4:46 pm
domwild FYI, Here is what I wrote in the letter to Metricon which resulted in them delaying the fixing stage payment invoice until PCI. They fixed most things, albeit very slowly, and breached the NSW Department of Fair Trading rectification and completion order in the process. The end result was that the build was delayed by 43 weeks, I incurred an additional $85K in expenses and Metricon incurred fines (according to NSWDFT) and the additional specialist rectification and site costs etc. You need to very careful you don't breach the contract.
1. It is our expectation that Metricon Homes performs the building contract and actions the items that have been identified that are defective and outside the tolerances of the building code of Australia.
2. We expect that the defective, damaged and /or inadequate structural building elements such as the slab, frame, windows, brickwork, drainage , waterproofing etc that we have already paid for will be fixed before the next progress payment invoice is issued. We are concerned that you advised on X.XX.XXXX that this is not Metricon’s intent.
Note the HIA (and MBA) is an association of builders that promotes their interests collectively. The state governments' fair trading organisations are weak at enforcing their own regulations, and the ACCC at national level appears to be dis-interested in addressing the residential building industry practices from high rise to volume builders. Right now the industry a bit of a 'wild west', and anything goes.
Re: Building Inspector Assistance via "Variation in Contract8
Sep 23, 2019 8:43 am
Looks like the building industry has managed to have a free hand ("card blanche") with political donations to both parties. Clients buy $1 Mio. apartments in Opal Towers and then find they are worthless due to structural defects as builders do not have to have a structural insurance if the building is taller than three stories!
My HIA contract obliges me to pre-pay the site costs, which is another privilege and is dangerous as builder can go broke and regularly do so. In WA, the Dep. of Mines ........ etc. is recommended by the HIA to be contacted if disputes arise, but one builder told me of Dale Alcock having had to demolish one building as shown on TV and that client had to get a lawyer plus engineer to achieve that, so it looks like another example of public service ineptitude as mentioned by Norfolk above.
Re: Building Inspector Assistance via "Variation in Contract10
Sep 23, 2019 10:24 am
VOs are a hot topic
This is the Correct procedure for Structural VOs in Perth
Builders Site change to Piling Details
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