Surprises are fun when it’s your birthday; and there’s cake, balloons and presents. Surprises are not fun when you’re building a home. Surprises often lead to unexpected costs, delays, disappointments and not a slice of cake anywhere to be seen.
Last year, the Building Amendment Act 2013 was introduced to ensure a “no surprises” approach to the way builders and homeowners work together on residential building projects. This is good news if you’re currently on the hunt for a builder or about to start a home building project.
The update to the Building Act has put consumer protection measures in place to tighten up on required documentation and handover processes that take place before, during and after the building process. The regulations require builders to provide clients with a checklist, a disclosure form, a written contract (for works over $30K) and information on the defects repair period before a build project begins. Upon completion, the building contractor is required to provide the homeowner with a full owner’s manual. This owner’s manual must include:
- A copy of any current insurance policy held for the building work completed under the contract. This does not include policies that expire when work is complete.
- A copy of any guarantees or warranties for materials or services used in the building work, including information on how to make a claim, if the guarantee or warranty is transferable, and if it must be signed and returned to the issuer.
- Information about the processes and materials used to maintain the building work; particularly if maintenance is required to meet the requirements of the building code or maintenance that could affect any guarantee or warranty.
This handover information is now the law and as a homeowner, it’s important you get what you’re entitled to when you take possession of your new property. Knowing how to maintain your property throughout its lifetime not only means you get to enjoy your slice of paradise, it also makes things easy if you decide to sell.
One of the most commonly overlooked costs of a new home is the initial (and then ongoing) maintenance. Skipping regular maintenance tasks like repainting exterior cladding, cleaning fireplaces or maintaining timber can end up in expensive remediation work that you will be liable for as the homeowner. The documentation relating to maintenance, warranties and details of your home can amount to piles of paperwork and for most of us, far too much information to keep track of in our head.
Thankfully, there is a solution out there (and it’s a simple one). BuildInsite is an online tool for builders that creates an owner’s manual for hand over at build completion. It’s also the easiest way to ensure the requirements of the Building Act are met. The owner’s manual is stored online and updated throughout the project. At the end of the project, there is a complete digital record of the build ready to go, including general project information, drawings and documentation, guarantees and warranties, maintenance requirements, photos, notes and any insurance that continues beyond the completion of the project.
For homeowners about to embark on a building project, make sure you ask your builder about BuildInsite. Not only does it ensure your builder meets the Building Act requirements, but it creates a record of easily forgotten property information for you. At the end of the project, your builder transfers the owner’s manual over to you in the HomeOversite website. From here, you have your own copy of the owner’s manual and an easy place to manage the ongoing management and maintenance of your home.
And the best thing is there’s no need to worry about remembering the name of the exterior paint colour, the warranty details for the air-conditioning or the contact details for the electrician. Think of it as a digital wallet for your home. A simple way to keep an ‘instruction manual’ for your home, manage maintenance schedules and store important documents like valuations, insurance details and images.
If you have already built, and want an online storage solution for all your home's documents and maintenance schedule, then you can simply sign up directly to HomeOversite yourself. All this information can then be transferred to a new owner if you sell your home further down the line.
We here at Build me. think this is a great solution all round for replacing those outdated files and paperwork. So support this innovative NZ business and get your new build signed up today!
For more information, check out HomeOversite in the Build me. Directory.