New rules on how builders handle clients take effect early next year, and one trade group wants to improve industry knowledge on the topic.
The changes are part of a wider boost to consumer protection laws which take effect on January 1.
The new rules say builders will need to supply written contracts and warranty details to clients for jobs over $30,000; disclose their skills, experience and qualifications; provide a checklist of the client’s entitlements; supply details of the materials they use; and fix any defects within a year.
In response to the changes, the Certified Builders Association is running seminars to help builders learn what they need to know.
The seminars will be run for the association by the government-owned FairWay Resolution Service, formerly the Dispute Resolution Service, and will be open to all tradies, including association members.
“With the new regulations coming, builders will have to do a whole lot more for the consumer,” association chief executive Grant Florence says.
“We want to help educate them better. We want to be on the front foot to make sure builders have these skills – it’s better than having problems to sort out later.”
He says that while builders may be skilled in their trade, they tend to be “hands-on people” who may not have strong business skills. With construction booming this could become a problem, he says, as members struggle to manage more work, contractors, staff and cashflow.