Building advice: Contract checklist
Universal Magazines

Contracts are legally binding so it’s important to get them right. Use this checklist to ensure your building contract contains all the necessary elements



A building contract is an important legal document that forms an agreement between a builder and consumer regarding domestic building work. As each state and territory in Australia has its own building authority, building contract laws vary from state to state. In NSW, Queensland and Victoria, legal requirements for these contracts are set out in the Home Building Act 1989, the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 and the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995, respectively. Regardless of where you’re building your new home, a contract is required if the total cost of work exceeds a certain amount. In NSW, builders must supply their clients with a written contract if a job costs more than $1000 (including labour and materials). This amount is set at $3300 in Queensland and $5000 in Victoria.

By law, contracts must contain a checklist of the following items. A caution about signing the contract must be included if “yes” cannot be answered to all items on the checklist. You should also consider seeking legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in home building matters before you sign on the dotted line.

Don’t forget, if a builder or tradesperson wants you to sign a contract that does not meet all of these requirements, you should not sign it. The homeowner is always entitled to a copy of the contract once it has been signed, and must be provided with a copy of the contract within five business days of it being signed.


Want more information or advice on building contracts?

NSW Fair Trading
13 32 20

Queensland Building and Construction Commission
139 333

Consumer Affairs Victoria
1300 558 181

Originally from Build Home magazine, Volume 22 Issue 2

Publish at: , last modify at: 28/01/2016

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