Licensed builders must do or supervise building work:
- that complies with the Building Act 2004
- is done in a proper and skilful way
- is done in accordance with approved plans.
Builders must operate according to:
- the Building Act 2004
- the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004
- any other relevant laws applying to the work.
Builders must be licensed to complete work that requires building approval.
Builders who employ or sub-contract other people to carry out building work, and other work such as electrical, plumbing and gasfitting, must make sure these people are appropriately qualified and, if required, licensed.
Builders must have a residential building insurance policy (also known as housing indemnity insurance) or a fidelity certificate, which protects the owner against defective and incomplete work.
Protection is required for:
- construction of certain kinds of residence
- certain alterations or additions to certain kinds of existing residence where the work is valued at $12,000 or more.
In the ACT, insurance or a fidelity certificate provides for a maximum cover of $85,000.
The insurance or fidelity certificate will cover minor building work, such as built-in garages that form an integral part of the building, but not separate garages or carports. Builders can offer owners optional insurance for such building work if they wish.
The insurance or fidelity certificate covers:
- incomplete building work due to the builder's insolvency, disappearance or death
- defects that come to light after completion if the builder has died, disappeared or become insolvent.
Insurance or a fidelity certificate requires the insurer to be informed within 90 days of you becoming aware of the defect.
The insurance or fidelity certificate does not apply to a building still owned by the builder or by a developer. Insurance or a fidelity certificate begins when the title in the land is transferred to the purchaser. It expires five years after the day the certificate of occupancy is issued.
Evidence of insurance
Builders need to show evidence of their insurance to a client before providing a service. This includes advising the client if they do not have insurance.
Builders may ask the client to sign an acknowledgment that they have been told about their insurance arrangements. The acknowledgment must state the time and date it was given. If the client signs the acknowledgement, builders must immediately give them a copy.
The contract builders sign with their client must:
- be signed and dated by them and their client
- state the builder's name and the client's name
- have the address where the work is to be carried out
- state the builder's licence details
- state the start and completion dates
- state the payment arrangements
- have the plans and specifications attached
- contain the statutory warranties
- display the total contract price.
Find out more about building contracts.
Builders should stay up-to-date with:
- construction site management
- the latest safety advice, checklists and notes
- product safety alerts and warnings
- obligations when hiring an apprentice or trainee
- environment protection guidelines.
Notifications, inspections and approvals
Builders need to make an application for a commencement notice to their client's building certifier before they start building work. The client needs to sign this application.
The work can start once the certifier has issued the commencement notice. Builders must inform the building certifier when the work requires inspection.
Find out about:
- applying for a builder licence
- renewing or updating your licence details
- disciplinary and other actions that can apply to a licence
- resolving a dispute
- industry resources
- statutory warranties and insurance
Contact us for more information.