Whether you’re buying a house and land package in a new development or about to start building your dream home on a block of land, there are a number of things you need to know. One of those is builders warranty – and we’ll run through everything important about it.
What To Do Before You Start
Builders warranty applies to anyone building a home – whether you’re using a contractor or building company or doing it yourself. However, depending on where you are around Australia, the regulations around builders warranty insurance – which is protection on top of the implied warranties – differ. In Tasmania and the Northern Territory, for example, it’s not a legal requirement to get builders warranty insurance. But it is in every other state and territory.
In Victoria, builders warranty insurance is a non-negotiable requirement for any domestic building projects valued over $16,000, as overseen by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority.
Why Is Builders Warranty Good For Home Owners?
The good news for buyers in Victoria is that builders warranty is covered under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 and all consumer guarantees and implied warranties can’t be signed away – no matter what a builder may tell you.
Builders warranty in Victoria allows you to make sure your builder is always using good workmanship, delivers everything outlined in your contract, and ensures everything is in working order when the job is done.
What’s Covered Under Builders Warranty?
Builders warranty is in place to protect you as the home owner in the event something goes wrong during construction. As per the Act, builders warranty ensures your contractors:
- Carry out the work in a proper and workmanlike manner, in accordance with the plans and specifications set out in the contract.
- Ensure all materials supplied are good and suitable for the purpose and are new, unless otherwise stated in the contract.
- Carry out the work in accordance with all laws and legal requirements.
- Carry out the work with reasonable care and skill and complete works by the date (or within the period) specified by the contract.
- Ensure new homes, extensions, renovations, repairs and kit homes (or similar) are suitable for occupation when completed.
- Ensure other types of work and the material used are reasonably fit for the intended purpose.
The Finer Details
It doesn’t matter how much your build ends up costing – any domestic building project is covered under the basic builders warranty, regardless of whether there was a written contract. Also, the warranty transfers to any new owners for up to 10 years following the work’s completion.
Remember, though, that if your project is over $16,000 – which is every type of home – then in Victoria it’s required that your builders have the appropriate level of insurance. Make sure you ask your builder for copies of their insurance certifications.
If you’re renovating, it’s also important to speak to your home and contents insurer before work begins to check what’s covered. You may need to up your policy to make sure you’re adequately protected for any changes or additions to your home.
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