Understanding why Building Disputes Happen-
The building contract between a home owner and a builder is the start of a relationship, it’s not just a purchase, both sides are making a commitment to each other. The builder agrees to (1) build a house according to the plans and specifications, (2) ensure that the quality of the workmanship and materials is good (3) keep to budget and (4) work on the house with diligence and complete the house by the agreed date if possible.
The homeowners commitment is that (1) they will grant access to their property (2) not interfere with the building process and (3) pay the builder the amount of money agreed in the building contract at the times specified in the building contract.
Like all relationships both sides usually start with excitement, enthusiasm and a common goal. The goal being the construction of a new house.
Despite the owner and the builder having the same goal, each party has very different motivations for making the relationship work along the way.
The builder’s motivation is business related and the construction of the house is how the builder makes a living and provides for his or her family.
On the other hand, the home owner has dreams of creating a home which will provide shelter, comfort and lifestyle for them and their loved ones.
These two motivations parallel but are very different, it is these differences that can lead to bitter building disputes.
Homeowners must take into account that builders are in their work environment, while building might be the builder’s passion, first and foremost it is their job. Builders and contractors can feel harassed and defeated by home owners that become too involved, or begin to demand things that one side or the other think were not originally agreed.
Sometimes builder’s may need to ask for variations which homeowners may feel that they can’t afford to pay. The builder may be working diligently, but the owner thinks the build is taking too long. Individually these issues are small problems, but collectively the constant conflict can spiral out of control. It’s not easy for either party to just walk away, while each side’s interests are different its bad for everyone if the relationship fails.
Frustration sets in and the threats of suspension, or termination of the building contract start, this is why building disputes happen. Just like you might see a relationship counselor if an important relationship is breaking down, this is the time to get help from a professional who help you get back on track and filter out the emotions.
This is the point that a you need to seek legal advice from an experienced Building and Construction Lawyer. We can explain your legal rights so that you know your options and importantly what you shouldn’t do in the heat of the moment. We can calmly guide you through the building dispute making the correct choices along the way to keeping your eyes on the common goal of the construction of the new house. This is a far better outcome than ending up with a failed project where the homeowner ends up with an uninhabitable house and the builder has to wait years to be paid.
For more information see our building dispute page.