Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Contract

Got the contract 2 days later than promised. It is a HIA standard contract and is written in the builder's favour. Then the Builder adds their own special conditions on top.
As an example of the bias, liquidated damages apply if the building duration exceeds the contract period. Sounds good but, the contract period does not commence until 4 weeks after the Construction Certificate is approved. Then, allowable extensions include all adverse weather and 5 weeks at Christmas. Then the Builder specifies a contract period that is close to a year. Therefore, the building process can take well over a year before the builder will compensate you for the rent and interest fees that you have been incurring, and continue to incur, over that 12 month period. By this stage you have already paid the Builder $5,000 non-refundable. What do you do, walk away?

Fowler's special conditions do not appear to be too bad.

I negotiated the contract period down, but not by much, and the liquidated damages rate up, but not by much. I also prepared a list of special conditions, of which about 70% were accepted.

We are now just waiting for the bank to complete a valuation and approve the loan before we sign the contract. More waiting! At least it's not the Builder this time.

I noticed that they have been getting beaten up pretty bad on and that they have been posting responses. It is a worry that so many customers are not happy. I will be interested to see if the service improves as a result.


  1. Hi, we are also building with Fowler homes. I just found out your blog and feel very confused to read the link with regards to Fowler building and services.

    I like your floor plan too. It is very nice! And I also like the way you have negotiate Fowler up.

    Yes, we have been suffering very slow paper work as they have never provided drawings and plans ...on promised time. Reading your schedules with Fowlers, I'm sure that your home project are much moving quicker than us....We are now waiting for Fowler to revise the plan on the council request...I have felt very tired of chasing Fowler up by email them twice/day.

    Wish good luck to your build and our build!

  2. Kiki,
    Would love to hear about your progress.
    Good luck.

  3. Hi there, I am up to the contract signing stage and noticed the contract period as being completed no later than 238 days, seems a long time given its 34 weeks. Did you reduce your completion period down and what other advice can you give for the other special conditions? It would appear piering has gone up, our extra allowance if more piers are required is $110/pier – did you negotiate your extra pier price down? Any advice would be great.

    1. Contract period negotiated down from 238 to 200 days. I am aware of another Fowler customer who only got it down to 224 but they had a bigger house. We negotiated the liquidated damages $/day up too.

      I did not negotiate the piering rate. Ours was $70/m for 300 mm diameter and $80/m for 400 mm diameter (which is what they used). I ran into the Civil Engineer onsite when we were both inspecting the piers. He told me that the normal rate would be about $75/m for 400 mm piers. If your rate is $110/pier, not per metre, then that might be a reasonable rate, but I really don't know.

      You want to make sure everything you want is covered in the contract as changes after this point will cost you big money. Ask them if there will be the need for import or export of fill as this is catching a lot of people out.

      I did get some special conditions included. I could email them to you if you want to provide me your address...

      Let me know if I can help with anything else. Best of luck.

    2. Actually, read your contract again - it is working days, so 238 days is 47.5 weeks, plus public holidays, rain, etc. Don't you love it!!!!

  4. How can I send you my email address via a PM?

  5. hi there ---can you email me your conditions at

    thank you