Building contract contradicts itself

anyone know what happens here? my build contract says in one clause that the progress draws are as per table A which is the usual slab, plate hieght, roof etc, then a special clause at the end of the contract says that table A is just a guide and that the progress draws will be billed monthly on a % completed basis (which really bites!).
 
nah - it's a resi thing out in midland. would be some serious head kicking going on if it were somehting as big as west perth
 
Does that mean that they can bill you a % of each progress payment stage in schedule 'a' if they haven't completed it within a month? Or is it a percentage of total contracted work each month? I would also be asking the builder who assessed the 'percentage'; valuer or builder.....

The industry contracts in Vic give an 'either/or' for the progress payments; you can sign and fill in the set % (of total contract price) for each stage OR you can put a line through this page and fill out the next page which lets you allocate your own stages and payments; this also has to be co-signed by the owner. The only time this is recommended is when there may be larger (or longer time frames needed) progress payments needed for expensive finishes, large projects or more expensive prep work (just as examples).

Sounds like a few questions need to asked of the building contractor..he should have explained that to you very clearly before you signed.
 
am pretty miffed with it, never seen it before and despite it being my fault for not reading carefully I feel a bit tricked.

the 2nd clause says the stages represent maximum claims for that stage, meanwhile they can claim monthly for works as a % of total construction.

so clause 1 is part of the standrad HIA contract, claiming at slab etc, then they have just written this special clause in at the end.
 
It's not over till......

Ausprop, in that case I would assess the wording of the clause that was inserted carefully. Do they specify who values the stage? If done by the builder and you do get an invoice that you feel is overdone (given that you have some experience in building you must have a general idea of most costings by now) then I don't see why you couldn't ask for written justification of the additional payments sought. In order to do this you must have a reasonable idea of what work is part of what stage (usually written in contract schedule a), so that you ensure you are not paying for something that was part of a PP that you have already paid.

If you haven't recieved any progress payments yet ask for a written explanation of this clause, and the conditions under which it will be used (who, what, when etc).
Most banks would probably request an explanation of this type of clause anyway. If you get extremely worried about it then you could speak to the warranty insurance provider's consumer arm and ask them which schedule takes precedence (shedule a, being the industry advised OR the special condition inserted without explanation at the back), that may provide you with some clear answers. I'm a bit disappointed that with the extra education for builders these days, compared to when we were registered, that simple contract management and communication with clients still proves so difficult for some tradespeople. It shows lack of confidence, haste or inexperience to need to insert these clauses without clear explanation and definition to the client.

They most definitely cannot ask for the final payment before the house has C of O issued (or WA equivalent). Read all your clauses carefully now to ensure that you take full advantage of any ones when necessary especially if the house is drawn out..doesn't look good when they ask for monthly payments for a residential house.
 
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thanks Julie, well

* yes they have tried to claim. they wanted 14% before the slab was poured! i complained and they agreed to hold off till slab poured

* I pretty much had decided just to make life difficult by arguing their assessments and asking for proof and documents and also agree with you that the bank would not find the process very funny, so am glad we reached a similar conclusion there.

the most surprisign thing of all, is that this is coming from one of the bigger and certainly most reputable builders in WA. not sure if they are just trying it on or what...leaves a bitter taste from a builder that is suppose to be so 'good'
 
Good!

I'm glad you did that. Their backdown indicates that they aren't confidant enough to pursue it so just assert your right to be informed (in writing and specifically), they may not try it again but be consistent and resolute if they do!
 
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