We hope you find these articles helpful in building your home.

About your Building Contract

Building Services Authority (BSA) offers three types of contracts which together cater for the full range of domestic building, renovation and maintenance work. Both of these contracts strike a good balance between the interests of consumers and building contractors.

BSA's 'Major Works' Contract Pack is recommended for all types of domestic building projects exceeding $40,000 to the construction of an entire house i.e. Designated Stages Contract (including labour, materials and GST). This Pack includes a plain-English contract schedule and a full range of supporting documents, including BSA's Major Works Consumer Guide and complies with all requirements of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 (the DBC Act).

BSA's 'Minor Works' Contract Pack is recommended for domestic building projects valued from $3,301 to $40,000 (including labour, materials and GST). This pack includes a plain-English contract schedule, full range of supporting documents including the Minor Works Information Statement and fully complies with all requirements of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 (the DBC Act).

In addition BSA also offers a very brief, simple Contract for Small Building Projects which is specifically designed for maintenance and renovations projects valued at less than $3300.

These BSA contracts are designed to make the contractual process as simple and problem-free as possible for both parties and can be downloaded free of charge from BSA's website - click here.

Your checklist

Note: The DBC Act requires that contracts for domestic building work over $3300 must be in writing and that contractors provide consumers with copies of a BSA-approved Contract Information Statement and other important documents.

Below is a checklist to fill in before you sign your contract. You should be able to tick ‘yes’ to all points. If not, seek clarification from your licensed contractor, or call your nearest BSA office. Depending on the issue, a solicitor, architect or building consultant may also be able to help.

  • Is your contractor the holder of a current BSA contractor’s licence? Ask to see the licence, write down the details and check them with BSA (Online Licence Search)
  • Does the contractor’s BSA licence cover the type of work contracted for?
  • Is the name on the licence card the same as that on the contract?
  • Are the total contract sum, deposit and progress payments (if any) clearly stated?
  • Do the deposit and progress payments in the schedule conform with percentages required under the DBC Act? (See Fact Sheet titled ‘Deposits and Progress Payments’)
  • Is the contract price fixed? If so, for how long? What factors (e.g., removal of rock) may affect the final price?
  • Are any provisional sums or prime cost items (these are not recommended by BSA) clearly stated on separate schedules, and do you understand how these sums can affect the final price?
  • Make sure your contract explains your right to withdraw during the “cooling-off” period of 5 business days;
  • Is all the work you want done clearly detailed in the contract and supported by appropriate plans and specifications?
  • Has the contractor provided you with foundations data (where relevant) and incorporated this information in the contract price?
  • Has the contractor provided you with a BSA-approved Contract Information Statement?
  • Have you informed the contractor of any special requirements you may have? Are they documented in the contract?
  • Are commencement and completion dates or time frames stated in the contract realistic?
  • Do you understand the grounds for any extension of time on the performance of the building contract?
  • If you have been promised a special package, promotion or discount, is it included in the contract?
  • Have you read and understood every clause of the contract? (If not, seek legal advice)
  • Make sure both you and the contractor sign all pages of the contract documents, including plans and specifications, and that you each retain a signed set;
  • Make sure all changes to the contract (‘variations’) are priced and recorded in writing;
  • Are you aware of the remedies available to you and the contractor under the contract and through BSA if the contractor performs defective work?

For further information, talk to BSA on 1300 272 272. This information has been prepared by the BSA. This is only a general guide - not a substitute for professional advice. Santo Correnti Homes Pty Ltd does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of any information on this page, and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered as a result of anyone's relying on this information. We recommend you obtain advice from your own financial, taxation or legal advisor before entering into financial transactions.