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NEW Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017


After 6 months of development, the Victorian Government has just made the Domestic
Building Contracts Regulations 2017 which will replace the current Domestic Building
Contracts Regulations 2007.


The new regulations take effect on Saturday, 22 April 2017 except for the matters outlined below which will take effect by 1 August 2017. While much of the new regulations replace existing regulations there are four changes that are significant to HIA members.

Major domestic building contracts


The Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (“the Act”) provides that a major domestic building contract is subject to many special requirements. These include but are not limited to the\ checklist, the consumer guide, using prescribed progress payments, documenting variations, and the need for foundations data.


For 22 years the Act has defined a major domestic building contract as a contract where the contract price for carrying out the domestic building work is more than $5,000.

From 1 August 2017 the regulations will increase this amount to $10,000. This means that from that date a builder is only required to use a major domestic building contract if the contract price is $10,000 or more.

Preliminary Agreements

A preliminary agreement is a contract between a builder and an owner to make arrangement to covers the costs associated with work to enable a domestic building contract to be signed.


Often a preliminary agreement will be a domestic building contract as it includes the
preparation of plans and specifications by a person other an architect or registered
draftsperson. If the value of this work is no more than $5000 then a simple preliminary agreement can be used.

From 1 August 2017 if the price for preparation of plans and specifications exceeds $10,000 then a major domestic building contract will still need to be used. The new regulations do however clarify that it is not necessary to include plans and specifications for building work in such a contract as the contract will be for the purpose of preparing these documents.


Cost plus contracts

In Victoria a cost plus contract may only be used for domestic building work in limited
circumstances. One circumstance is that a cost plus contract may be used if the work to be carried out involves the renovation, restoration or refurbishment of an existing building and it is not possible to calculate the cost of a substantial part of the work without carrying out some domestic building work.


The other circumstance is where it is reasonably estimated that the work will cost $500,000 or more. From 1 August 2017 this amount will be increased to $1,000,000 and any contracts signed from that date must comply with this new restriction. [1]


[1] HIA 2017


Carmel Home’s ultimate goal is to ensure a unique, luxury custom home for each client from start to finish. Whereas some builders make a business in building variations of only a few dwellings over and over again, each Carmel home is truly an original, just like you. Moreover, our service offering is unique and tailored specifically for each build and each client. At Carmel Homes, we walk the client through the full build of their new home and consider every detail.


Most importantly, Carmel Homes works with your own style and tastes, assisting and guiding you throughout the entire process, helping you to realize your unique vision for your custom home. Our quality materials and experienced trades people are hand selected to fit not only the superior quality standards that our clients can expect from Carmel, but to also match your discriminating and individual tastes.


We understand that building a luxury home can be both exciting and stressful and we go to great lengths to make building with Carmel an enjoyable and stress-free experience.  We recognise that great communication and customer relations are just as important in ensuring each projects success. As a family business with over 20 years of experience, you will have the same dedicated consultant from the beginning to end. You can take comfort from the fact that the person you deal with owns the business.


Clients love working with us because we make their project easy, our knowledge saves time, money and stress, our budgets can be banked on and our timeframes can be lived by.


Architects like working with us because they know that their projects are run by a solution based, experienced, highly organised, top quality, client focused company.


If you are looking to build and you want the job done right with the quality your project deserves please contact Carmel Homes. 


1129 Toorak Road

1300 79 28 29

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