Contract Documents – Order Of Importance

Of course the contract documents are the most important thing when organising the building of a new house.

However not many people realise that some parts of the contract document are more ‘important’ than others.

All three of these parts of the contract are normally bound together and presented for signing.

The order of importance are:

    1. The Conditions of Contract. Usually either HIA or Master Builders Conditions.
    2. The Specification. Which details in words what is included and the quality.
    3. The Plans. Shows in diagram form what the house looks like and how the various structural elements are assembled.

As long as their are no inconsistencies the order of importance doesn’t matter. However if there is an an inconsistency then the more important document is the one that counts in law.

For Example.

Say you had asked for windows to be double glazed. Although the plans may have been changed to show double glazing the builders standard specification which is based on single glazing may have been inserted in the documents by mistake. The builder then installs single glazed windows. Legally  they could leave those windows in without reducing the price.

Although most builders would rectify such an error its well worth checking through all the documents thoroughly before you sign.

Don’t let the builder rush you…….take the documents home and spend a few hours looking through them!

Have you had problems with your contract documents ?


For similar posts see Contract Documents