Conditions of Contract

The conditions of contract are the general terms and conditions that apply to the building project. They set out the rights and responsibilities of both the homeowner and the builder and provide the framework for the construction process. It’s essential to read this section carefully, as it will govern the entire project.

Understanding the Key Elements

Here are the key elements to look out for when reviewing the contract conditions:

  • Payment Terms: The contract should outline the payment terms, including the amount, payment schedule, and any penalties for late payment.
  • Completion Date: The contract should include a completion date or a timeframe for completion. This will help you manage your expectations and hold the builder accountable for meeting the deadline.
  • Dispute Resolution: The contract should outline the process for resolving disputes, such as mediation or arbitration. This is important in case any disagreements arise during the building process.
  • Variations: The contract should outline how variations will be managed, including any cost implications.

Common Issues to Look Out For

When reviewing the conditions of contract, there are some common issues to look out for:

  • Vague Language: The contract should be clear and concise, with no vague language or ambiguity. If anything is unclear, ask for clarification before signing.
  • Hidden Costs: Make sure that all costs are included in the contract, including any additional costs that may arise during the project. Hidden costs can quickly add up and blow your budget.
  • Unfair Terms: Ensure that the contract’s terms are fair and reasonable, and that you are not at a disadvantage compared to the builder. If anything seems unfair, seek legal advice before signing.

By understanding the key elements of the conditions of contract and looking out for common issues, you’ll be able to enter into the building process with confidence and peace of mind.


Specifications refer to the detailed requirements for the materials, workmanship, and quality of the construction work. They outline the scope of work and the materials that will be used to complete the project. As a homeowner, you need to understand the key elements of the specifications section to ensure that you are getting what you paid for.

Understanding the Key Elements

The specifications section usually includes information on the following key elements:

  • Materials: This includes the type and quality of materials to be used in the construction process. It may also include the specific brand or model of the materials. Ensure that the materials specified are of good quality and will not cause problems in the future.
  • Workmanship: This outlines the standards and methods of construction that will be used. Ensure that the workmanship is of good quality and meets the standards set out in the building code.
  • Standards: This outlines any relevant building codes or standards that the construction work must adhere to. Ensure that the work meets these standards to avoid any potential legal issues in the future.
  • Schedule: This outlines the timelines and deadlines for the project. Ensure that the schedule is reasonable and that the builder is committed to meeting these timelines.

Common Issues to Look Out For

Some common issues to look out for in the specifications section include:

  • Vague language: Ensure that the language used in the specifications is clear and unambiguous. Avoid vague terms like “good quality” or “adequate” which may lead to misunderstandings later on.
  • Incomplete specifications: Ensure that the specifications are complete and that they cover all aspects of the construction work. Incomplete specifications may lead to disputes between the homeowner and the builder later on.
  • Omissions: Ensure that there are no omissions in the specifications. For example, if the specifications do not mention the type of roofing material to be used, the builder may choose a lower quality material to save costs.


When it comes to building contracts, plans are a crucial element that helps define the project’s scope, design, and specifications. The plans outline the technical details of the project, including the dimensions, materials, and other important aspects. It’s important to carefully review the plans to ensure that they match your expectations and requirements.

Understanding the Key Elements

The plans section of the building contract typically includes a range of technical drawings and documents that outline the project’s design and specifications. These may include floor plans, elevations, site plans, structural drawings, and details of fixtures, finishes, and materials.

As a homeowner, it’s important to have a good understanding of these technical documents to ensure that you fully comprehend the project’s scope and specifications. For example, you may need to review the drawings to understand how the building will be constructed and how different parts of the structure will fit together.

Common Issues to Look Out For

One common issue that homeowners may encounter when reviewing the plans is discrepancies between the drawings and the contract’s specifications. For example, the drawings may show a different size or layout than what was specified in the contract, which could result in unexpected costs or changes to the project’s scope.

Another issue to look out for is incomplete or inaccurate planning. If the plans are missing important details or contain errors, it could lead to confusion or delays during the construction process. That’s why it’s important to carefully review the plans and ensure that they are complete, accurate, and match the specifications outlined in the contract.

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Protect Your Home Investment with a Solid Building Contract

A building contract is a critical legal document that protects your investment and ensures that your construction project runs smoothly. By understanding the three main parts of a building contract – the conditions of the contract, specifications, and plans – you’ll be able to identify key elements and common issues to look out for. Take the time to review and understand each section of the contract before signing it, and consider consulting with a building contract lawyer if you have any questions or concerns. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your home construction project is protected and successful.

 Don’t risk your investment; protect it with a solid building contract.