Tradie tips

Commencement notice for domestic contracts of $20,000 or more

Builder and owners in kitchen discussing plans

For all domestic building contracts priced at $20,000 or more, you, as a contractor, are now required to give owners a ‘commencement notice’ within 10 business days of the contracted work commencing on site.  

The notice must state the exact date work commenced on site and the date for practical completion.

Some contracts, including those available on the QBCC website, include a ‘commencement notice’ ready for you to fill out.

Download a contract for domestic building work.

 

When the owner withdraws during cooling-off period

Home owner mailing paperwork.

If an owner chooses to withdraw during the cooling-off period (which is five business days), then they must give you, as the contractor, a written withdrawal notice.

You are entitled to receive or retain an amount equal to any out-of-pocket expenses you have reasonably incurred up to the time the owner withdrew, and if you have given the owner the required documentation you are also entitled to an additional $100.

Making changes to address issues with PAS

Man sitting at desk working on a computer

The QBCC is making changes to address the systems outage issues and errors experienced when lodging Notifiable Work forms through the Plumbing Application Service (PAS) system. 

Our service provider recently deployed upgrades to the current PAS system that has provided some interim improvements. Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that a replacement system has been commissioned. 

Gun nailing of framing anchors and straps

Gun nail fixings

The QBCC has recently investigated a number of complaints and issues about the inappropriate use of gun nails used to secure framing anchors and the like.

Over a number of years our industry appears to have gravitated away from hand-driving the special purpose connector nails supplied by bracket manufacturers, and tradesmen are instead securing these brackets using power-driven fasteners, such as gun nailing. 

Changes affecting cost-plus contracts

Builder reading contract

A cost-plus contract is a contract under which  a contractor is paid for all construction-related expenses, including materials and subcontractor charges, plus an agreed percentage or fixed sum to allow for a profit.

This type of contract was previously prohibited for domestic building work, unless certain strict conditions were met.

Under new legislation, cost-plus contracts are now treated like any other contract and are therefore subject to the usual Level 1 and Level 2 contract requirements, depending on the estimated value of the work.

Contract variations must be in writing

Builder and home owner with contract

It is essential that you, as a contractor, properly document all variations.

Correct documentation of variations will help ensure you are paid for the work that you are being asked to do.

It will also help you avoid possible compliance action and costly disputes if there is any disagreement arising from changes to the work you have been contracted to carry out.

The variation documentation must:

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Make sure your building contract complies with the law

Builder with contract

The easiest and cheapest way to make sure your domestic building contract complies with legislation introduced earlier this year is to use a standard form contract produced by the QBCC or a major industry association.

Acting Commissioner of the QBCC, Kellie Lowe, said the changes, introduced on 1 July, helped create a level playing field for all parties to the contract and clearly specified the minimum requirements for domestic building contracts in Queensland.

Foundations data

Earth works

Foundations data is used to determine the cost of earthworks and may include, for example, soil tests and contour surveys.

As a licensed contractor, you must obtain the foundations data and incorporate any costs into the contract before it is signed by the property owner.

An exemption is granted if you, as the contractor, are not legally entitled to enter the building site to obtain the data before the contract is signed and the contract guarantees there will be no price increase when the data is obtained at a later date.  

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Site managers must hold the correct licence

Site manager on site

A licensed building company and its nominee must make sure that building work carried out by the company is personally supervised by the company’s nominee or an employee who holds a licence of the relevant class that authorises supervision of the building work. 

The maximum penalty for a company failing to meet this requirement is $117,800. 

If the building site is under the control of an appropriately licensed person, other employees in a supporting supervisory role are not required to be licensed unless they are engaged as contractors.

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