The information provided below is general in nature and should not be relied upon legal advice. You should call 03 5445 1000 and speak to a lawyer at OFRM about your particular circumstances.

Building defects: What you should know before talking to your builder

So you have moved into a new house and everything is perfect. However, what happens if you walk into your new home one afternoon and the roof is leaking, the plaster is bowing and your carpet has been destroyed.

While many of us think that this is why builders have insurance this is not the case. Building insurance can only be claimed in a circumstance where a builder is dead, missing or insolvent. In all other circumstances a builder is required to fix any defects in your home. While most builders are very accommodating when they need to do small fix it jobs, fixing a small crack here and replacing a light there they are no so accommodating when it comes to big jobs and will often try and push clients into accepting substandard work when a potentially costly error is made.

When you contracted with your builder, your builder understood that he was guaranteeing his work for six years after completion of your home. If you and your builder are struggling to reach an agreement regarding the builder fixing defects builder in your home there are a number of options available to you.

As there are a lot of myths around about what happens and who should do what, a sensible way to proceed is for you to get some initial advice from us before talking further to your builder. We have seen in matters where this happens our clients have been able to negotiate good results as they have approached the matter with confidence they know what is the correct situation.

If that doesn't solve it, we can provide further assistance including an application to VCAT if necessary.