COMMENCING A NEW HOME BUILD OR RENOVATION
Builder License Check
Any builder who is completing residential work in NSW which has a value greater than $5000 must have a valid building license.
Licenses are needed for minor renovations (but not limited to) such as kitchens and bathrooms, swimming pool constructions, erecting of garages or carports and new home builds.
Before signing a contract with your potential builder, it’s important to check that they hold a valid license. A builder licence checkcan easily be done online via the Service NSW website. If you can’t find your builder online, you can contact NSW Fair Trading who can confirm that the builder does hold a contractor license. By law, all contractors must show their license number on their advertising and signage.
Why is a license important?
A license is important as it can protect you from builders who may not work to Australian standards. By using a licensed builder, if something untoward was to happen, you will be able to receive support from NSW Fair Trading. Using an unlicensed operator will leave you open to substandard work and no legal recourse.
Home Build Insurance
Any licensed builder or tradesperson in NSW must have home building compensation for each home build (including renovation) that is valued over $20,000. This protects the homeowner if the builder cannot complete the building works or fix any defects.
Other insurances that are needed by your builder are Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance.
The Service NSW website is a good place to start when doing a check on the history of your builder. Their public register will allow you to search the name of your contractor and will provide you with the following information:
- Builder ABN / ACN Number
- Their license start and expiry date
- Their registered address
- History of their license (If applicable)
- License Class (The type of work they are licensed for)
- Any associated parties and licenses
- Compliance (Public warnings, Insurance claims paid, and statutory insurance claims paid)
When selecting your builder, often the best way is by word of mouth or referrals. If there is a recent build in your area, knock on their door and ask them about their experience. Usually, people are only too happy to share their positives and negatives.
Search for reviews online via Google, Home One and social media – the more research you can do about your builder before signing your contract, the better. You don’t want to be left with hidden surprises that you wish you were aware of before commencing your build/renovation.