Congratulations, your build is getting close to completion and you’ll soon receive the keys to your new home!
As the builder attends to the finishing touches and your excitement levels rise, here’s a list of some important things to keep in mind over the coming weeks, to ensure a smooth transition into your new home.
1. Final Inspection and the handover process
The specific details can be found within your building contract however the basics of the Final Inspection process is typically as per the below:
- Builder issues the formal “Notice of Completion” along with the Final Claim (Note: The occupancy permit must be obtained by the builder prior to requesting the final claim)
- Final Inspection is booked and completed within 7 days
- Owner provides builder with a written list of all known defects/incomplete works
- Builder confirms when defects have been completed
- Owner pays Final Claim within 7 days of defects being completed
- Builder hands over possession along with keys, certificates and warranties
*PLEASE NOTE: Ideally Manse Group will complete the Final Inspection two days prior to your formal walk-through with the builder. This ensures that you can add items of significance identified in our inspection to the formal defects list the Builder/Owner sign. If items are not listed in your final defects list, they are not a formal/contractual defect.
2. Giving notice
If giving notice of your intention to vacate your current living arrangement, we strongly suggest allowing some extra time after any promised dates from your Builder/Site Supervisor, if financially possible. This will ensure time for any potential defects to be rectified before you take possession and may prevent you from the stress of having to choose between finding somewhere to temporarily live, or feeling forced into taking possession of the home with numerous defects remaining.
If the timing is tight, we also suggest not telling your Builder/Site Supervisor that you must be ‘in’ by a particular day. Instead, be clear that you are willing to wait until you are satisfied that all defects or incomplete work has been completed.
3. Main items you want to receive at handover
- Occupancy permit (if not already received)
- External/internal doors
- Remotes for automatic garage door
- Manual roller doors
- NBN box
- Recycled water taps
- Manuals/warranty information
- Kitchen appliances
- Hot water service
- Termite management
- How to use the heating/cooling and check they work
- How to use appliances/check they work
4. Defect period
Your requirements regarding the defect period will be stated in your contract, please read it carefully as all builders have different processes. It’s typically 3 months however can sometimes be 12 months. Some builders require your list prior to when the defect period is up. If in doubt, ask us.
- Keep a list on the fridge and note any minor items you think are defects over the coming months.
- Put a reminder: ‘NEW HOME DEFECT PEROID ENDING’ in your calendar so you don’t forget.
- If you’d like Manse Group to conduct a defect inspection as this period draws to an end, let us know now and we’ll contact you at the time to arrange.
Obtain quotes for your home and contents insurance. Be sure you have a couple of days coverage nearing the time of handover as some builders don’t warrant appliances for theft at this final stage.
6. Maintenance of your building and footings
Your building contract, architectural drawings, engineering drawings and specification will note specific requirements regarding maintenance of your building and footings. Please read these documents carefully to ensure your building’s health and warranties aren’t jeopardised. Some important snippets are as follows:
- General maintenance: The CSIRO’s BTF 18 document “Foundation Maintenance and Footing Performance: A Homeowner’s Guide” is a common document found within your building contract. It is has some important information so we have also linked it here >> CSIRO Homeowners guide. You can also refer to the Victorian Building Authority guidelines >> VBA’s Guidelines to minimising foundation movement
- Surface drainage: Part 18.104.22.168 of the Building Code of Australia notes specific minimum falls around the perimeter of the building. Refer to this document >> 02 NCC2019-BCA-Volume II – 22.214.171.124 surface water drainage
- Damp-proof course height: Section 9.6.1 of AS 4773.2: Masonry in small construction nominates the minimum requirements of finished ground levels and the height of your DPC/Weepholes. Refer to this document >> 03 AS4773.2-2010 – damp proof course and adjacent finished levels
- Termite protection: If your home has had a termite treatment, these require annual inspections to ensure warranties are upheld. Information should be in your handover pack and/or meter box.
Your builder will have nominated a retailer to install the meters and connect the power and gas from the beginning on your behalf. Post-handover, you can decide if you’d like to stay with the selected retailer or change to another.
Want some assistance with comparing providers and arranging connections? Foxie are a local Geelong company providing a free and independent service to save you time, money and headaches with your service connections. It’s best to get in touch with Foxie 1-2 weeks prior to your handover date in order to ensure a smooth transition. See www.foxie.com.au or call 1800 275 369.
Connections/change overs typically required for:
8. Rubbish bins
You may need to let the council know you are moving in for them to deliver your wheelie/recycling bins.
9. Change your address
Notify the relevant authorities of your move to your new home including: employers, VicRoads, banks, Medicare, electoral office, car insurance, mobile phone carrier, post office, health insurance, superannuation funds, schools, subscriptions etc.
10. Prepare to celebrate
Buy a bottle of something special to enjoy in your new home!
We hope you find this list helpful. While it may seem like a lot of information, it is very important. Aim to tick off items at your own pace, and you’ll be through the list before you know it.
Thank you for including Manse Group in your journey. We wish you many happy memories in your new home.
If you require anything else from us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.