Renovation and Home Design

Paying Contractors


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The advice you always get about paying contractors is “Don’t pay until the works are complete.”

Easy to say. . . . . but most small contractors want payments up front!

Why Contractors Want Up-Front Payment

I have known a lot of small contractors and one recurring problem is getting payments for [read more…]

Beware of Escalation Clauses


What Are Escalation Clauses

These are a way of allowing for inflation. Basically it provides a way for the builder to increase his costs in line with inflation.

The Clause will quote an inflation index which can be used to adjust the stage payments.

When Are They Used

I have only used escalation clauses in [read more…]

Delaying Progress Payments

Delayed Payment

So your builder has just made a claim for a Progress Payment . . . . . but you are not happy with the workmanship, or don’t agree that the Construction Stage is finished.

What can you do?

A lot of people would say “Don’t make the payment!” but it’s not quite as simple [read more…]

Post Contract Variations

The best advice I can give is:

“Avoid making Post Contract Variations” The reasons are:


Basically the builder holds all the cards once the contract is signed.

They can quote you the top price for the change… a percentage for the variation which you will find in your [read more…]

Final Cost – When Do You Find Out?

Some people think that when they pay an initial deposit, and leave the Builders Sales Office they know how much their house will cost…………..If you are unlucky, and/or don’t know how the system works you could be hit for unexpected costs in the order of tens of thousands of dollars.

These are the times when [read more…]

Contracts – Provisional Sums

Provisional Sum Rock

All new house building contracts will have a section for Provisional Sums.

These are used for work that MAY be required, but the builder can’t provide an accurate estimate at the time of signing of the Contract.

The main area for provisional sums is related to foundations where the limited information obtained during the [read more…]

Contracts – Prime Cost Items

prime cost item

Some new house building contracts will have Prime Cost items.

These are used for fixtures or fittings which will be required, but have not been selected prior to signing the Contract.

So the total contract price reflects the cost of building the house the builder will put in an estimated cost of supplying the [read more…]

How Much Should Stage (Progress) Payments Be

When you are building a new house you are required to make regular payment as each STAGE is completed. But how much?

Well builders want to get paid as soon as possible so they will want the early payments to be as big as possible. You as the purchaser need to make sure you aren’t [read more…]