Keep your project on track by keeping up good communication with your builder and familiarising yourself with the different roles and responsibilities on-site.
It is important to maintain good communication with your builder throughout the build or renovation process to ensure your project stays on track.
Even if you think you've planned for every situation during a build, you may still experience some challenges. If you run into problems we have listed some tips for how to prevent disputes or handle them as they arise.
On-site supervision and quality control
Your licensed contractor is responsible for the supervision and coordination of tradespeople on-site. The contractor is ultimately responsible for any defects in subcontractor work.
Learn more about a contractor's responsibilities for supervision and quality control.
A building certifier is not responsible for supervision. They can't supervise or report on the quality of work on an owner's behalf.
Your role in quality control
You, as the property owner, and your builder are responsible for ensuring the building work meets acceptable standards.
Any particular requirements for quality and finish (e.g. type and number of coats of paints) should be included in the contract.
We encourage you to carry out regular on-site inspections with the builder. This ensures that work meets the approved plans and specifications set out in the contract and is of the expected standard.
If you are unsure about inspections, it may be worthwhile to use a private building consultant to monitor the job on your behalf and to raise any issues.
Non-conforming building products
The use of non-conforming building products (NCBP) in the buildings where we work, live and play, puts lives and property at risk. Learn more about NCBPs and how to minimise the risk of them in your home.
Inspections and approvals
There are many checks and balances involved in building work, including various milestones to reach before progressing from one stage to the next.
Under the relevant Queensland legislation, building inspections on dwellings must be performed at various stages - see section 44 of Building Regulation 2021.
Building certifiers play an essential part in ensuring that all the boxes are ticked. The building certifier is a highly qualified building industry professional whose role is to check that your builder has complied with the approved building plans and appropriate building provisions.
- assess and approve plans relating to new, altered and existing building work
- inspect construction work at mandatory stages, aspects of stages or aspects of assessable work
- provide certificates of inspection to the home owner, builder and local authority
- issue enforcement notices where required
- give final approval for a building to be occupied.
Learn about the role and responsibilities of a certifier.
Appointing a private certifier
In most cases, your builder will be responsible for engaging the private certifier on your behalf. However, you can directly appoint a private certifier. You should have documented in your contract who wil be the person responsible for engaging the certifier.
Regardless of who engaged the private certifier, owner clients and other clients must be aware of the certifier's engagement, role and responsibilities, including if:
- the person engaging the certifier (the client) is not the owner – the client must give the private certifier the name and contact details of the owner within 10 business days after their engagement starts
- the private certifier must give the owner their contact details and details of their responsibilities in the approved Form 18—notice to the owner that a private certifier has been engaged (PDF, 191KB) within 15 days of their engagement
- the person engaging the certifier (the client) is not the owner, and the owner changes their name or contact details—the client must give the private certifier notice of the change within 5 business days after becoming aware of the change.
Obtaining certification documents
If you are the property owner, you can obtain inspection documents relating to the stages of work before the final stage using a Form 35—owner request for a copy of inspection documentation (PDF, 169KB)
The building certifier is obligated to provide the requested inspection documentation to you within 5 business days. A penalty of up to 20 penalty units ($2,669 as at 1 October 2020) may apply if the building certifier does not comply.
The certifier will provide the final stage documents to you. You don't need to request them. The process and types of documents depend on the class of the building.
The owner of a class 1a dwelling (or associated class 10 structure) will be given the final inspection certificate, plus a copy of any other inspection documentation.
The building certifier is responsible for ensuring these documents are given to you within 5 business days. Failing to do so may result in a penalty of up to 40 penalty units.
Owners of other types of buildings will be given a certificate of occupancy.
The certifier must ensure you receive the certificate of occupancy as soon as practicable, once the building is eligible for the certificate. A penalty of up to 20 penalty units may apply if the building certifier does not do so.
As a building owner, you can request a certifier to perform inspections and other certifying functions additional to the standard stage inspections required under the building development approval.
These requests can be made using Form 31—additional certification notice (PDF, 183KB) and giving it to the person (client) that engaged the certifier.
The additional certification notice needs to provide details of the certifying function the owner requests the certifier to perform.
Only building certifying functions relating to compliance of a building with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) or the Queensland Development Code (QDC) can be requested.
- You must make the request within 10 business days of being advised of the certifier's name and details of their engagement.
- Your request must be passed onto the certifier within 5 business days.
- After receiving the notice, the building certifier must perform the inspection stated in the notice on or before the agreed day, unless the certifier has a reasonable excuse. The day is agreed upon by the owner, client, builder and certifier.
As the building owner, you must pay the reasonable costs for the additional functions requested.
Certification options for building owners
Your requests regarding certification of your property.
Handover and final payments
Reaching the end of your project is a big milestone. It's the result of months of planning, negotiating and decision making. Handover is your opportunity to go through any minor issues with the building work and receive all the certificates and relevant documents. Making an effort to check all the details will pay off in the long run.