Appreciating the Working Knowledge of a Qualified Builder in NSW


Appreciating the Working Knowledge of a Qualified Builder in NSW

At the time of penning this article, an esteemed lawyer in the Sydney Hills area referred Rebilt as renovations specialists to his colleague and sometime client of very long standing.

The homeowner had rung his trusted lawyer seeking advice having just spoken to a builder who had quoted to do some termite repairs prior to the property going up for sale.

As the works were well over $5,000 the owner assumed that he would pay the 10% deposit and sign a contract to authorise commencement of the quoted works.

When the owner requested the contract, the builder was reported as saying “I haven’t used paperwork in over twenty years. What’s wrong with you? I believe you are saying you don’t trust me?”

The Department of Fair-Trading sites on its website “if the cost of labour and materials is more than $5,000, the law requires a written contract to be used. Contracts are not only legal requirements; they will protect you if anything goes wrong.”

More than that Fair Trading also sites that “Fair Trading has produced a series of plain English contracts covering all types of building and renovating work. You can download these for free from the contracts page.”

When the owner offered to download a free contract from the Fair-Trading website, the builder then become offended and withdrew his availability to that job.

At this report, the lawyer said in effect: “Hmmm. No contract means no accountability — I will refer you to some guys I have known for some time — and whom I trust implicitly.” 

Which leads me to the following. There is an inventory of required industry knowledge that a builder needs to know and stay updated on in order to be effective.

For your appreciation, here’s our list:

To become a builder in NSW there are a number of qualifications, and practical experience requirements in order to be licenced. Firstly, there’s minimum two years of experience then a 2-year qualification of Certificate IV or Diploma in Building and Construction must be gained. Additionally, one of the following: a current Carpentry or Bricklaying Contractor Licence or Supervisor Certificate (4-year qualification), or an approved qualification that would allow such a licence.

Working knowledge of the National Construction Code [NCC] – formerly known as the Building Code of Australia [BCA.]

Working knowledge of Australian Standards

Working knowledge of Best Practices

Ability to collaborate with other industry expertise such as surveyors, consulting engineers, architects, drafting services, interior designers, pest control inspectors, private certifiers, compliance officers, geotechnical and hydraulic engineers, heritage and conservation officers and so on.

Working knowledge of the industry contracts available and contractual obligations of not only the builder but the owner as well.

Working knowledge of termite repairs [rectification works.]

Working knowledge of bushfire restrictions.

Working knowledge of Security of Payments Act 1999 – updated March 1st, 2021.

Working knowledge of Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 – which imposes new duty of care obligations.

Working knowledge of all aspects of project management – defit and rubbish management, delivery and handling of all materials as well as management of the appropriate trades matching skill-sets to the works.

A builder who contracts a project supervisor will ensure that his supervisor holds a current Supervisor Certificate from NSW Fair Trading.

All tradespeople ought to have a current licence issued from NSW Fair Trading to carry out work in a specific field in the home building industry in NSW. The term tradesperson includes all licensed concreters, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roof tilers, plasterers, tilers, painters, fencers and gasfitters.

Builders will ensure that the tradespeople they contract have current licenses and insurances held.

Working knowledge of O H & S – managing safety for the owner, trades and all those who come in contact with the site.

Further accredited industry training is required – 14 CDP points annually.

Awareness of new building products, industry trends and building practices.

Working knowledge of all relevant insurances which include Home Warranty [Home Building Compensation Fund Insurance] which applies on all projects over $20,000, third party insurance, public liability, worker’s compensation, liability insurance and so on. 

While the above list of required industry knowledge is non-exhaustive it may make the reader appreciate the true value of a learned and experienced builder.

You may find that builders will have strengths and therefore exercise specialisation in certain works such as renovations, full builds, kitchens and bathrooms, decks and pergolas etc.

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