What could you do to protect yourself and your property?

Try to do your homework.

What should you ask your renovator/contractor for questions?

Ask first if your renovator/contractor can show you if they are licensed and if with this licence they can carry out full bathroom renovations. Ask also if they have a builder’s license to carry out structural changes?

If your contractor has not a builders licence or has a plumbers or tilers licence only, you should think twice before going further. A bathroom renovation is not just drawing a couple of squares and circles on a piece of paper.

In the event your renovator will say I am not a licenced builder but I will get a builder in to do the structural work it sounds like a solution. If you agree with that scenario have you thought about with which person you really have a contract and who is responsible when something goes wrong? Would you take that risk?

When your renovator/contractor does not understand the fundamentals of how to build a home you could end up with a lot of damage. Typical the bathroom looks sort of okay when you have just paid the final account. Unfortunately the problems start to show between very soon or at a later stage.

It is usual the work you don’t really see that will start the nightmare.

Most people know about leaking bathrooms but what about the next examples!

  1. A bracing is in the way for some plumbing pipes or a recessed shave cabinet and the bracing is just cut out and not replaced. It is pure madness.
  2. I was the 3rd person to visit a customer. The request was to extend the existing bathroom out onto the veranda with a big spa bath on the veranda section. When I discussed the different live load for the veranda construction the customer informed me that the 2 previous renovators did not discuss this issue and did not even look at it. This would be a disaster waiting to happen.
  3. A so called designer showed a plan to me where the existing bathroom and a room next to it had different ceiling height levels. The proposed plan showed both ceilings at the same level of the higher ceiling. It turned out that she the designer had not noticed that the roof construction has to be reconstructed at an enormous cost. You really wonder, don’t you?
  4. When I discuss with customers where safety glass is mandatory in a bathroom or ensuite I get the reply that other renovators have not discussed this or it is not in their quote. All is well until an accident happens and then the ball starts rolling.
  5. Do you know that where waterproofing is required could have a lot to do with the type of shower screen you select? If you don’t know you are not alone as a lot of renovators it appears do not know either.

When your renovator does not know the answers to the above issues you should think twice before going any further.

Your renovation project will not be covered under the Queensland Building Construction Commission (QBCC) Insurance scheme when using contractors who are not qualified to do the work. In fact most of those renovators will not and cannot insure the work anyway.

When the contract sum is more than $ 3,300.00 (including GST) it is compulsory for the contractor to pay the QBCC Home Warranty insurance premium.

How do you know if your job is insured? You the owner will receive a letter from the QBCC confirming that your job is insured. If you do not get that letter, well what can I say?

How long will you be insured for under the QBCC home warranty insurance? Is it for 6 years and 3 months or for 6 years and 5 months or for 6 years and 6 months? Amazing how it appears it depend on the renovator you talk to. This is another issue to think about.

If you are not satisfied with the answers of your contractor, ring the QBCC phone 1300 272 272 and check what your renovator/contractor is allowed to do for work. Such a simple phone call could protect you against possible future costly nightmares.

What type of contract should be used?

Be very care full before you sign any quotes/contracts that are not approved and comply. E.G. one single A4 sheet with a couple of sentences and a price will most likely not protect you. Projects with a contract price of more than $ 3,300.00 must comply with the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000.

Make sure a proper contract is used e.g. of the QMBA (Queensland Master Builders Association) or the QBCC (Queensland Building Construction Commission).

We will also give you a Master Builders Contract information statement which is a customer guide.

Why are those contracts so important?

They explain the rights and the obligations of the contractor and the customer. It informs you how much deposit you have to pay, (10% could be too much) how long the job will take to complete and many more important issues to protect yourself.

No time to do your homework?

When you feel not comfortable to ask your renovator the above suggested questions and or you have no time to sort out all the complicated issues than we suggest you go to our section with testimonials and go with a business where the people know what they do and who you can trust.