Read This Before You Sign Anything (Especially A Building Contract)

I hate to be a negative nanny. But I’ve met too many people for which this advice arrived too late. And so I hope I’m catching you before you sign anything.

Tragically, too many homeowners feel pressured to sign a building contract based on scant information that their builders say will be finalised later. “Don’t worry,” says the commission salesperson. “We just need to get you in our system so we can guarantee your building spot. Then we can work out all the details.”

As a result, these homeowners:

  • Are unsure of exactly what they are getting
  • Don’t know exactly how much it’s costing
  • And end up having to pay tens of thousands of dollars for extras they thought were included and variations the builder introduces along the way

Three Reasons Why Builders Pressure You To Sign An Incomplete Contract


Sometimes it’s simply because they don’t have the systems, staff, or experience to supply you with a detailed contract. Rather than risk losing you as a customer, they lock you in with a contract that is incomplete.

Variation Profits

Sometimes it’s because they lure you in with a low contract price so they can make more profit on the variations they introduce during the build. For example, some contracts make an ‘allowance’ for specific items. But as supply prices rise during the building process, your price goes up accordingly. Defects (that need to be redone) and delays also cause extra charges (in the name of variations). Look up your local “building your dream home” Facebook page and you’ll see countless examples of this.


And increasingly, it’s because they need you to sign a contract, so they can collect your deposit to pay past bills. This is a dangerous practice and one of the reasons why so many builders have gone bust over the past few years.

What Should Your Contract Include (and when should you sign it)?

Everything. Your contract should contain every last detail about the home you are building. If it’s not in writing, you can’t be sure it will be delivered. And you can’t argue the fact afterwards.

Shockingly, many building contracts are just a few pages long. In fact, it’s not uncommon to have the ‘fine print’ take up more space than the details of the house.

What Do Our Contracts Look Like (and when do we ask you to sign)?

Our building contracts typically run 30, 40 or even 50 pages or more. And we don’t even offer them to you until everything is ready to start building. That’s right – we won’t ask you to sign a contract until:

  • You’ve made all your selections
  • Engineering is completed
  • Plans are finalised
  • Council approvals have come through
  • You have the full and final price

That way you know exactly what you’re getting, precisely what it will cost, and when it will be delivered – with no nasty surprises – guaranteed.

For more information on what you should look for in a building contract, we invite you to where we will answer your questions and show you the most efficient and affordable way to get your dream home – without any nasty surprises.


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