If you're doing domestic building work over $3,300, you will need a contract. To ensure you are aware of your rights and obligations, you should carefully check the contract and if necessary seek legal advice before signing.
The SPASA Swimming Pool Construction / Installation Contract is appropriate for new pool builds while the Other Works and Renovations Contract can be used for anything else. Both are compliant with the legislation for works over $3,300 and including works valued at $20,000 and above.
You should only deal with a QBCC-licensed contractor. If you engage an unlicensed contractor, your building work may not be covered under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme. Always check the contractor’s licence and licence history via QBCC’s Online Licence Search.
Consumer Building Guide
For any building work in excess of $20,000 your contractor is required to provide you with a copy of the Consumer Building Guide prior to signing the contract.
QLD Home Warranty Insurance
Residential construction work valued at more than $3,300 is covered by the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme. It provides protection for home owners against non-completion, defective work and subsidence for up to 6 years from completion, provided a licensed contractor performs the work.
After the contract has been signed, the contractor must pay the insurance premium to QBCC, and you should receive a Certificate of Insurance and Policy Booklet within two weeks. Please note the contractor collects the insurance premium from the client as agent and simply remits to the QBCC. The premium is calculated based on the total contract value and is separate to any builder’s charge.
Deposits and Progress Payments
The maximum deposit allowed is:
- 10% where the total contract price is under $20,000
- 5% where the price is $20,000 or more
- 20% for a contract of any price where the value of the work to be performed off-site is more than 50% of the total contract price.
Owners and contractors are free to determine the number and timing of progress payments, if any, provided these payments are proportionate to the value of work performed on site e.g. don’t pay more than 50% before half of the work has been completed.
You may withdraw from the contract within five business days of receiving copies of the signed contract. However, there are costs for home owners in withdrawing (generally $100 plus any out-of-pocket expenses reasonably incurred by the contractor up to the time of withdrawal). You must also advise the contractor in writing. Check the contract conditions or seek legal advice before exercising this right, there may be limitations.
Changes and Variations
Building a swimming pool and / or spa sometimes you or your contractor may have to change some of the details during the life of the project. Unexpected circumstances may mean adjusting the details in your contract. It’s important that the changes are recorded. Any changes to your original contract must be done in writing, and signed by both yourself and the builder before work starts. This may not apply with urgent or emergency works, check your contract for details.
Practical Completion & Handover
A swimming pool construction / installation or renovation reaches practical completion or is ready for handover when all the building work has been done and you are able to take position of and use the works as intended.
Some minor defects and minor omissions are acceptable. You will find a full definition of practical completion in your contract under general conditions.
We recommend that you arrange an on-site inspection before the handover date. This is a final opportunity to discuss any issues before handover.
Make sure you get copies of any outstanding documents such as:
- certificates of inspection e.g. pool safety barrier form 17
- product warranties for appliances
- reports, notices or other documentation issued by services providers (e.g. electricity, gas, water or sewerage).
Note: if you have any problems with appliances after handover, contact the product supplier not your contractor.
Final Payment Due
For contracts to build a new swimming pool or spa or renovate, alter, extend or repair a swimming pool / spa, final payment is made at practical completion. This is when:
- all contracted work is completed in accordance with all relevant laws, legal requirements and with the plans and specifications
- any minor defects or minor omissions are recorded on a signed defects document
- the house is reasonably suitable for habitation (where the contract requires this).
The contractor must give you a defects document which:
- lists any minor defects/minor omissions that the contractor and owner agree exist and states when the contractor will deal with these,
- lists any minor defects or minor omissions that only the owner believes exist
A contractor must repair defects at handover, or within 12 months of when the work is finished. You must notify the contractor of any such defects within 12 months of when you notice them.
- Queensland Building & Construction Commission Act 1991
- Queensland Building & Construction Commission Regulation 2003
- Queensland Building & Construction Commission website
- Consumer Building Guide