7 things you must ask your bulider before signing a contract
簽合同前需問建築商的 7 件事讓我們教你如何鑒別專業建築商
7 things to ask the builder before signing the contract let us teach you how to identify professional builders
The first things you should determine are:
Is your builder allowed to build in the state?
Do they have the skills and experience to undertake the proposed project?
This is particularly true if you plan on building in a difficult location or your design requires special construction skills.
Is this construction business the right choice?Is the builder registered?
選擇建商最重要的事是檢查對方有無註冊 State Construction 州建設局，因為州建設局的建築賠償計劃會保障你的房子未來 6 年的缺陷修補。你可聯絡 Local State Building Authority 當地國家建築局或上網查詢建商的註冊卡。
The most important thing to remember when selecting your builder is that they must be registered with the appropriate State Building Authority in the state construction is to take place. It is vital that the builder is registered, as this will provide protectionunder the State’s Building Indemnity Scheme that insures your home against major defects for six years.
建築設計與風格 Types of Building Style and Design
專業建商可照設計圖建設任何房型，也可從現有房型圖上提供修改建議與合併各種設計元素。許多建商擁有專屬建築風格，你可多查詢 & 找到你中意的建商建築風格。建案房是大多數澳洲家庭的選項，如果你不喜歡現成的房型，你需聯絡自訂建商或者建案經理。多觀察建商過去的完工項目，這可幫助你找到你中意的建商建築風格。
A builder should be able to work to the style and design of your home. They should also be able to advise you on ways to incorporatevarious elements into your home so that it matches the existing style. Many builders specialize in a particular style so it may be worth searching for one that can build exactly what you are looking for. If you are not sure what it is that you are after,a builder should be able to assist you with some options.
Project homes are a common choice for many Australian families. If your site is not suitable or you want to have more individuality you may have to choose a custom builder or project manager.
Takea look at some of the builder’s past projects, this will allow you to see if the builder can work to your style and specification. Ask for references and visit sites in person if possible. Past clients may be willing to share their experience.
確認建商有無投保 Check the builder holds the correct insurances
Check the builderholds the correct insurances, including Home Building Insurance, Public Liability Insurance and Worker’s Compensation. Ask to see the certificates of insurance. Should there be a claim against the builder coverage will ensure your project is not affected.
有無在預定地施工？ Do you work in the area I plan to build?
Ask your builder if they do work in your proposed area, if they don’t they may have to source alternative, untested supervisors and subcontractors which maylead to substandard work.
2. 檢查建商的合格證書 Check your builders credentials
目前建商手頭有幾個施工建案？ How many properties do you currently have under construction?
This will give you an indication of the size of the company. Whether they are a small builder or a larger project style construction company. A company with a full book of current projects may be viewed as an indication of trust, they are reliable and the work is in high demand. However, ensure they have the capacity to manage your project professionally.
建商曾經宣布過破產嗎？ Have you ever been declared bankrupt?
A builder who has gone bankrupt in the past may end up doing so again in the future. Itis important to ensure your project is completed and avoid delays if your builder becomes insolvent while your project is under construction.
建商有過建案糾紛嗎？ Do they have any past or current building disputes?
Find out whether the builder has any current or past building disputes with the relevant Building Authority in your State. This will give you an idea about the builder’s general reliability and professionalism as well as the overall quality of their work.
建商擁有幾年工作經驗？ How long have theybeen in business?
查出建商的成立年度，有無繼續使用同樣建商名。改過名的建商在過去也許有出過工作上的問題。澳洲建商公司的平均年齡約 4 年或以下。公司齡多於 4 年的通常為可信任的成功建商。
Find out how long the builder you are considering has existed and whether it has always traded under the same name. A builder that has changed names may be a sign of past problems they wish to avoid. The average life of a building company in Australia is less than four years. A builder who has been trading for more than fouryears is usually the sign of a company with a good business profile and who has been successful to date.
3. 我該如何跟建商溝通 How can I communicate with the builder?
開工後，你要如何跟建商溝通？ How will you communicate with your builder once the job starts?
Building a home can be one of the most stressful times inaperson’s life. It can be a difficult time if the project does not progress as expected. You will be in a business relationship with your builder and you must have a clear line of communicationdefined before you enter into a contract.
建商擁有一套系統可定期跟你彙報進度嗎？ Does the builder have systems in place to keep you informed?
During the planning and construction of a home there will be many questions to be answered and decisions made. A regular steady flow of information between you and the builder will help ease the process.Does the builder schedule regular onsite meetings, allowing you to view the work progress and to discuss any construction issues that may arise from time to time?Does the builder have reporting systems in place to keep you informed, advise you of any issues as they arise or to seek your input on building decisions.
4. 所有事情都確認過了嗎？ What should the Building Contract Include?
A building contract must thoroughly specify the work to be completed, along with the following?
The commencement and completion date of the project should be clearly stated or easily able to be worked out
Y our name as the home buyer and the contractor’s license number should be included
A description of all the work to be carried out during the building process, including plans, specifications, and any particular requirements that you may have
The necessary insurances
The contract price
A clearly stated cooling off period
The Consumer Building Guide which you must read and acknowledge
A checklist of items and a caution about signing the contract if you can’t tick yes to all items
A place for the buyer to acknowledge that they have read and understood everything in relation to the contract
Prime Cost or Provisional Sum items are clearly stated, along with the builder’s margin to be applied
Progress payments are outlined
A clause that states that all work will comply with the Building Code of Australia as well as the other standards required by law
That the contract begins on the day when the last party signs the contract and the other party is made aware of this signing – this is the contract date and should not be confused with the starting date for the project.
選擇與時間表 Selections and Schedules
The initial quote you received was most likely for a specific home design built with basic materials and fittings. If you are building a Project home you will have the opportunity to specify some ofthe materials, fittings and fixtures with their Colour Consultants. However, you should be aware that the initial quote you received may have been for a basic package and that any materials or fixtures that you specify above the basic package may add to the contract price. Whether you are building a Project home or a Custom Built home wherever possiblehave all your selections (taps, baths, tiles.etc.) detailed in the contract price before you sign.
平面圖和規格 Drawings and specifications
建商會依照平面圖的測量與硬體內容指示建造。如果你對於合同內容有任何疑問，你也許需考慮娉請專業建築師提供建議。重點 — 優先順序為：合同 - 規格 - 計畫。
The Drawings are the builder’s instructions about the measurements and features of the property being constructed.The Specifications are the agreed instructions about the materialsand building methods to be used to construct the house.If you have any concerns about this part of the contract, you mayneed to consider employing an Architect to provide you some advice.Important –The Order of precedence is: Contract –Specifications–Plans.
5. 合同正確嗎？ Is the contract correct?
Have you read, checked and understood all of the contract documents thoroughly?
使用認可表格填寫建案合同，譬如房屋業協會 Master Builders’ Association 出版的表格。如果有不明白意思的地方，請諮詢專家或法律，確保你明白所有合同義務， 你的建商同上。如果你有任何不滿部分，請別簽署合同。如果合同有任何想修改部分， 請在這階段實行。
Insist on the use of a recognized form of building contract, such as those published by the Housing Industry Association or the Master Builders’ Association. If you don’t understand any part of the documents, ask questions and seek your own expert or legal advice. Make sure that you understand what your contractual obligations are, as well as your builder’s. If you are not happy, don’t sign. If you want anythingchanged, this is the time to do it.
施工分期付款 Progress Payments
Does the contract require the release of progress payments at various stages of construction?
Is the work to be completed for each stage specified?
Are the terms satisfactory to you and to your finance provider?
When a builder issues a Progress Payment Request, make sure the specified work has been completed and verified. Should you make a payment ahead of a stage completion you may compromise your insurance coverage.
建案的維護期是多久？ How long is the buildingmaintenanceperiod?
交屋後，建商將提供必要的建築保養。就像產品保固期。住宅項目通常為 6 個月保固。
This is the period of time after your propertyis handed over, that the builder will performany necessarybuilding maintenance. This is similar to a warranty period. For residential properties this is typically six months.
支付款項 Paying deposits
For home building contacts with work to be covered by a home building insurance scheme, the builder can ask you to pay a deposit of around 5% of the total contract price. Never pay a deposit until the builder has given you a certificate of currency for domestic building insurance for your property. This insurance will cover you if the builderbecomes insolvent and is unable to proceed.
冷卻期 Cooling off period
某些州有法律冷卻期合同條款。冷卻期期間，通常為 5 個工作日，你可撤回合同，但您仍然可能需承擔建築商已經承擔的費用。
In some states, there is a Cooling Off period in the contract by law.During the Cooling Off period, usually 5 days, you are able to withdraw from the contract but you may still be liable for the expenses that the builder has already incurred.
Building companies usually own the copyright to their home designs and plans. If you sign aninitial agreement and pay for a particular plan, you cannot have the home built by a different builder.
If you decide not to proceed to construction after signing aninitial agreement, the building contractor may be able to keep some or all of the money already paid.
成本加成 Cost Plus
Have you checked to ensure the contract is not ‘Cost Plus’? A cost plus contract allows the builder to recover the full costs of materials, supplies, labour and overheads plus a per-determined builders margin.
成本加成合同的優點為允許建商優先使用優質的材料，配件和固定裝置，重質而後預 算。缺點為項目業主的不確定性，最終成本不容易掌握。如果你簽署"成本加成"合同， 你應事先充分了解後果。
An advantage of a Cost Plus contract is it allows you to purchase materials, fittings and fixtures at reduced costs or to focus on quality rather than budget. The downside is the uncertainty to the project owners, because the final cost cannot be easily determined.If you are contemplating signing a ‘Cost Plus’ contract, you should be fully aware of the consequences.
Areyou planning to demolish an existing home to build new or just knocking down part of a structure to extend? If so you will need to decide whether to directly employ a demolition firm or to include the work in your new construction contract.If you choose to arrange your own demolition, you will need to ensure that you have signed off on all the new build contracts before you start.
Before any demolition can beginyou will need to contact your Local Council and obtain a Demolition Permit alongwith the Building Permit for the new construction.You may also need to consider a traffic management service for the equipment delivery and debris removal phases of the project, particularly if you are on a major road.
If you have employed your own demolition contractor, they should be insured against any damage to your neighbour’s property or other structures. Ask to see a copy of the contractor’s Demolition and Indemnity insurance before any works begin.
If you contract your builder to complete the demolition works they will undertake all these tasks on yourbehalf. Demolition is not covered by the Builder’s Construction Insurance Scheme, so the cost should not be included in the Construction Contract.
6. 我的合同中有任何津貼嗎？ Is there any allowance in my contract?
Are there any allowances for Prime Cost items and Provisional Sums items?If so, do you understand the meanings of the terms?
Prime Cost items are for supply of materials only.
A Provisional Sum Item is for supply of materials and labour cost.
你知道如何計算支付給建商的費用嗎？ Do you know how the amounts that you will pay to your builder are calculated?
If you are uncertain, ask your builder or an independent consultant to explain it to you.Temporary Total Project Temporary Total Projects are often mixed with basic projects.
臨時總計項目 Provisional sum items
A Provisional Sum is used whenthe builder cannot give an exact price for the proposed work at the time the contract is signed. It is quite common for excavation work to be included as a Provisional Sum item. Be aware that the costs could rise significantly, for example, should the builder list Scaffolding as a Provisional Sum and the project is delayed, the additional cost could run into thousands.
Your builder must make a reasonable allowance for the nature and location of the building site when estimating supply and delivery in the contract price. As an example, your builder must reasonably allow for transport costs if you are building on a rural property.If reasonably possible, do not agree to provisional sum items as they can make your final cost higher.
Rock Clause –This is a standard clause, which is unavoidable unless the builder inserts a hefty ‘Contingency Sum’ in their costings. If Rock is uncovered during excavation you will need to pay more money, so be prepared.
7. 我是否擁有版權？ Do I own the copyright?
If you do not own the copyright of the house, you will be marked as "loss of profits"
If you do not own the Copyright to your design you will be liable for a ‘Loss of Profit’ to the Copyright Owner should you decide to use the design and build with someone else.
This includes Design Ideas; so getting a design redrawn will not protect you from legal action.There are many instances of Building Companies providing designs to Clients who then take those designs to another Builder and sign a contract for a lower price. This practice is illegal in Australia and can result in legal action for damages as well as yourconstruction being halted.