If you do not use a registered building practitioner there can be problems. Non-registered builders do not have to meet education and training requirements, they may not perform work satisfactorily, nor are they audited by the Building Commission to ensure effective building control. Registered builders on the other hand, are required by Law to provide you with a written contract and insurance for building work with the exception of some very small projects.
If you do not use a registered builder, the work is not likely to be insured so rectification of poor quality work will be extremely difficult. Similarly, your job may not have start and finish dates, or worse still it may never be completed, particularly in the absence of a domestic building contract.
Do some research on your builder
Once you have chosen your builder, it is worthwhile researching whether they have recently been disciplined or Involved In disputes by:
• Calling the Domestic Building List of Victorian CMI and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on 9628 9999 or checking the VCAT website www.vic.gov.au
• Checking with Consumer Affairs Victoria by contacting them on 1300 558 181
• Checking the List of prosecutions on the Building Commission’s website at www.buildingcommission.com.au
Check the contract and permit requirements
After choosing a builder, find out whether your work requires a major domestic building contract, planning permit or building permit. If the work costs more than $5,000 or affects the structural soundness of the building, a building permit and major domestic building contract are generally required.
Another step in the building and renovating process that requires research is the building contract. A domestic contract must include a start date, finish date and details about progress payments. Work through the building contract with the builder to ensure it is accurate. Also, check the contract drawings and specifications to be sure that you are satisfied.