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Areas of Practice

Residential Building Disputes

The building of a new house or the renovation of an existing one can be one of the most important decisions which you are faced with. There are many months of planning, negotiations and development involved. Very often, the financial outlay is significant, as is the time dedicated to the task.

Building contracts and the law

At Andersons, we understand your commitment to investing in a quality home. We also understand the frustration when things don't work out quite as planned.

In the first instance of building your new home or doing renovations, you engage a building company and enter into a building contract.  It's important that you understand the content of your building contract and what it means to you.  Building contracts are usually made up of three distinct parts, being the building contract itself, the specifications for the building and the drawings for the building. Legislation such as the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 regulate the terms of building contracts and attempt to create a level playing field between builder and homeowner.

Building contracts and your rights and obligations

A building contract is the foundation for your rights and obligations in construction work. Very often, building contracts do not receive the attention which they need from the outset and further to that, when problems arise, it is because the terms of the contact were not clearly communicated or understood.

In order to properly advise on building contracts, an understanding of both the law and the trade is needed. Our commercial law department has lawyers experienced in construction litigation, and those lawyers have ongoing access to recognised experts within the building trade.

We believe that having a clear and transparent overview of your contractual position, prior the first brick being laid, is critically important.

Even with your building contract in place however, disputes can arise.

We find that the most common building and construction disputes arise from:

  1. Delays in construction
  2. Practical completion and handover
  3. Progress payments
  4. Construction defects
  5. Material and labour cost increases
  6. Building Contract variations

If you find yourself in dispute with your builder, tradespeople or sub-contractors, it is important that you seek advice quickly and before matters get more out of hand. Andersons can provide you with advice and assistance about your building dispute to ensure you get the product and services you expected.

We can assist you in creating a solid legal foundation for your major project, as well as fighting for you if you already have commenced construction and but are now faced with a dispute.