Remember: domestic building insurance only covers you if your builder dies, becomes insolvent or disappears.
When is the project complete?
The works are complete when:
- all works defined in the plans and specifications of your contract are completed to the agreed standard and major defects have been rectified
- your building surveyor has issued a Certificate of Final Inspection or Occupancy Permit.
You can pay an independent building consultant to check for defects or unfinished work to give you peace of mind.
If there is incomplete or faulty work
It is your builder's responsibility to rectify any incomplete or faulty work.
You need to:
- make a list of anything that is incomplete or faulty
- speak with your builder or tradesperson immediately about your concerns
- send a written request for the builder or tradesperson to complete or rectify any unfinished or faulty work, together with any agreements regarding the work in writing, by registered post
- contact us for information and advice.
Keep a record of the project and all certificates.
Keep copies of all documents related to your building project. When the works are complete, ensure you have:
- a Certificate of Final Inspection (for extensions and renovations)
- an Occupancy Permit (for new homes)
- any other certificates required such as glazing or termite protection.
Implied warranties and consumer guarantees
The law requires a builder to meet certain obligations when they do building work.
These are called 'warranties' in the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995, and ‘consumer guarantees’ in the Australian Consumer Law. You have rights under both laws.
For more information view our Consumer guarantees page and view our Implied warranties and domestic building insurance checklist page.
Domestic building insurance
If issues arise after you have taken possession and your builder or tradesperson has died, become insolvent or disappeared, you are protected for a period of six years for works that cost more than $16,000 (provided domestic building insurance was taken out) even if you were not the original client. Check you have a copy of the domestic building insurance policy and that it covers your property.
Contact the insurer listed on the Certificate of Currency that the builder gave you at the start of the project.