Mind Your T’s & C’s

Mind Your T’s & C’s

Have you noticed a lot of builders are ramping up their advertising lately?  As the pipeline of work generated by the government grants flows through the system, builders are now turning their efforts to bringing new clients on board.  Many builders do this by advertising offers that seem “too good to be true” to get you in the door.

I saw an advertisement for a builder that made me think.  They were advertising that they could build your new home in 10 months. The inference being that you can go with another builder and wait 10 months for a bricklayer or go with them and have your house finished in 10 months.  With all of the delays currently being experienced across the industry, this seemed like an amazing offer!

I dug a little deeper …

If you look hard enough through their website you can find their terms and conditions for this particular offer.  The first condition that started ringing alarm bells was that the timing of their offer started from ‘the first brick being laid’.  Not the date of contract, not the date that the slab was poured … but the date that your bricklayer starts.  Wouldn’t this then put you at the same starting point as the people who are still waiting for a bricklayer?

Anyway … let’s say you managed to get a bricklayer to site reasonably quickly (say 4 months from contract signing). You’re already really at 14 months … not 10.  The terms and conditions then list out the myriad situations by which they can extend your “10 month build time”, including unavailability of materials, unavailability of labour etc.  All of the things that are currently holding up on site progress across the industry at the moment.  Given that your bricklayer starts at the 4 month mark and it takes them 1 month to complete the brickwork, you’ve only got 9 months to go until you move in right?  Then it takes an extra 2 months to get timber delivered (a reality in today’s market).  You are now 8 months in and still have 9 months to go!

Any builder worth their salt in this market will tell you that build times cannot be guaranteed.  I guess the moral of the story is, when it comes to ‘special offers’ of any kind … you really need to mind your T’s & C’s.