Pre-Construction Phase

The pre-construction phase is a critical time for homeowners. This is when contracts are signed, and negotiations occur between the homeowner and the builder. It is essential for homeowners to carefully review the contract before signing it. Failure to do so can lead to potential risks and liabilities that the homeowner may not have anticipated.

The contract review is one of the most important aspects of the pre-construction phase. Homeowners must take the time to read and understand the contract thoroughly. This will help to identify any potential risks and liabilities that may arise during the construction process. Ensuring that the contract covers all aspects of the construction, including timelines, payments, warranties, and disputes, is crucial.

Identifying potential risks and liabilities in the contract is crucial to protecting the homeowner’s interests. These risks can include delays in construction, cost overruns, defective work, and disputes with the builder. It is essential to ensure that the contract contains provisions that protect the homeowner’s interests and limit their exposure to these risks.

A specialist construction lawyer can help identify any potential issues in the agreement, advise on how to protect the homeowner’s interests, and negotiate favourable terms. A lawyer can also help resolve disputes that may arise during the construction process. Seeking legal advice can ultimately save the homeowner time, money, and stress.

During the Construction Phase

As a homeowner, it is important to be vigilant and monitor the construction project as it progresses. This includes ensuring that the construction proceeds according to the contract and that any changes or construction variation are documented.

Maintaining good communication with the contractor is also critical during this phase. This helps to ensure that any issues or concerns are addressed promptly and that the project is completed to the satisfaction of both parties. Regular site visits are also recommended to keep track of the construction’s progress and identify any potential issues early on.

Another important aspect of the construction phase is documenting all changes and variations to the contract. This includes any additional work that may have been requested by the homeowner or alterations that may have been required due to unforeseen circumstances. These changes should be documented in writing and signed off on by both parties to avoid any potential disputes.

In the case of Boulus Constructions Pty Ltd v Warrumbungle Shire Council (No 2) [2022] NSWSC 1368, the court found that the lack of proper documentation and communication between the parties led to building disputes and delays in the completion of the project. Therefore, homeowners must take the necessary steps to avoid such situations and ensure a smooth construction process.

Post-Construction Phase

After the construction work is completed, homeowners must conduct a final inspection of the work to ensure that it has been completed according to the contract. This final inspection should be conducted as soon as possible after the completion of the construction work. If the homeowner identifies any defects or issues with the construction work, they should seek legal advice immediately.

In case of a breach of contract, homeowners have legal remedies available to them. The contract may include provisions for resolving disputes between the parties. Homeowners may seek legal recourse through the courts if the contract does not have such provisions. The remedies available may include damages, specific performance, or contract termination.

Homeowners need to seek legal advice if they identify any defects or issues with the construction work. A construction lawyer can advise on the legal remedies available and the best course of action. Homeowners should also ensure that they have documented all changes and variations to the contract during the construction phase. This documentation can help resolve disputes and enforce the terms of the contract.


In summary, homeowners in Sydney should take a proactive approach to protecting their legal rights in construction projects. Before signing any contract, homeowners should review the document carefully, identify potential risks and liabilities, and seek legal advice if necessary. 

During the construction phase, homeowners should monitor the project, maintain good communication with the contractor, and document any changes or variations to the construction contract. After the construction, conducting a final inspection and seeking legal advice if any defects or issues are identified are important.

As a construction law specialist, I strongly encourage homeowners to protect their legal rights proactively. By seeking legal advice before, during, and after the construction project, homeowners can ensure that they are fully informed of their rights and legal remedies in case of a breach of contract. Don’t hesitate to contact a specialist construction lawyer today to discuss your construction project and ensure that your legal rights are protected.