Discussing Your Specification
When planning for your new home, there will be plenty of discussions between yourself and your builder about what is going to be included. It’s important to know the difference between what is discussed and what is ultimately included in your contract.
A discussion is defined as ‘the action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas’. When you are in discussions with your builder, whether it’s before you sign your contract or during the build, these discussions are an ‘exchange of ideas’. Discussions may include several meetings and/or emails where different options are presented, reviewed, amended, rejected etc. At this point, everything that is discussed is still an ‘idea’. It does not form a part of your contract. Some clients can become confused in thinking that, just because they discussed something with their sales rep or builder that it was automatically included in their contract. However, this is not the case. As you can imagine, there will be a myriad of options that you want to consider and will discuss with your builder. So, when do the ideas that you discuss with your builder become a reality?
The reality of your contract with your builder is in the signed documentation. In short, if it’s not on paper and signed for (either as part of your specification or plans) then it’s not included. Along with this, if something is not specified or noted on your plans, you have not been charged for it. Once you have had your discussions with your builder, and have come to a firm decision, this item should then be included in your specification and on your plans and reflected in your contract price at the time of signing. If the discussion is in relation to a variation during construction, it becomes a reality once the variation has been signed by all parties.
We would like to live and work in an ideal world where no mistakes are made. However, in reality, sometimes errors do occur. If you believe that there is a discrepancy in what you believe was included in your contract and what your builder says is actually included, your first port of call will be in your signed paperwork. From here, you can bring the discrepancy to the attention of your builder and work on a resolution together.