Tip 4: Check your Builder’s Home Building Compensation (HBC) Cover

HBC is required where work is worth more than $20,000 (labour and materials). The builder or tradesperson must give you evidence of HBC cover before they start on your project or you pay them any money.

Why is it important to check the validity of your HBC cover?

If you’re building or renovating a home, you must have home building compensation (HBC) cover for works costing over $20,000 (including GST).

This cover protects you as a last resort if your builder or tradesperson is unable to complete or fix residential building work. You can make a claim if your builder has died, disappeared, becomes insolvent, or had their licence suspended for failing to compensate a home owner.

Without a valid certificate, building works on your home will not be covered.

Who should use the HBC Check?

The HBC Check may be used by anyone with an interest in a home or involved in work on a home, either planned, in progress or completed. Works can consist of new construction, renovations, additions or repairs.

Examples of people with an interest in a property include:

  • homeowners
  • prospective buyers of a home
  • sellers preparing for a sale
  • local government or private certifiers
  • lending institutions that have financed work on a home
  • conveyancers, real estate agents or solicitors
  • body corporates

Using the online register

The HBC Check allows you to check whether work done at a particular address is covered by the scheme. All you need to do is enter the address of the property.

You can also check the validity of your cover by taking the following steps:

Step 1 – Input the Certificate Number into the certificate search bar. Click the search button.

Step 2 – Check that the details on the certificate match the details profiled on screen including:

  • certificate date
  • certificate number
  • name of your contractor (builder)
  • type of building works
  • address of building works (i.e. Your Address)

Be sure to also check the following:

  • name of contractor (builder) is the same as the name of the contractor on the building/works contract.
  • issue date of the certificate is before any deposit was paid for residential building work.

If the HBC Check results and the proof of cover from your builder don’t match, or you can’t find your property on the HBC Check, try to clarify the information with the individual contractor or organisation, or the person who signed the contract (generally the director of the company or a nominated person in the company).

If the clarifying information you received still isn’t a match and you’d like us to investigate further, please email


Retrieved 13/11/18 from:



2019 Dulux Colour Forecast

Are you planning to renovate or restyle your property?

Here’s some colour inspiration for you.

There are some beautiful palates in the 2019 Dulux Colour Forecast

There is huge influence once again from nature and other cultures

With a a focus on relaxing and well-being

I’m loving the richness, contrast and warmth in some palates, strong use of colour as a principle of design

What’s your favourite colour story?

My pick is repair. Beautiful greens and earthy tones, just divine.

Repair palate

Tip 3: The role of a builder

The Builder’s Role

I had a misconception of the role of a builder, I thought they just did the actual carpentry and building work on the tools.

What does a builder do?

Builder’s are the project manager’s on the job. Many builders today do not do actual building work themselves. Builders or building contractors:

  • manage and coordinate home building or renovation projects
  • manage the purchase and delivery of materials
  • coordinate the work of tradespeople such as plumbers, painters and carpenters involved in the project.

Western Area Building Difference

Damian Batten, our licenced builder has a very hands on approach with our business and is across all the jobs we do. If a job is done by our own team or subbies he ensures that the standard of work is high. Damian is on the tools most days of the week and personally quotes all our jobs himself.

Tip 2: Prepare your project brief before you contact your builder

Brainstorm your project

It is important that you have a clear idea of what it is your trying to achieve with your project. What are your goals? Do you want to sell your property, make it more functional or restyle for a modern look? This information for the builder is called a project brief. It can be as informal as a few key points. For the builder to do an accurate quote you need to provide as much detail as possible.

Have an idea of how much you want to spend, an indicative budget is helpful, we are honest and will be able to tell you if your budget will go near the project you have in mind before doing a detailed quote. We can work with you to achieve the best outcome for your spend.

Develop job brief

No matter how small the project you should write a job brief. This can be anything from a few dot points to several pages and will help you clarify exactly what you want done.

The job brief should:

  • be as specific as possible
  • Include your property address, contact details including email address to send the quote
  • list the brand names and models of all fittings, tiles, appliances, etc that you require (this could be done as a separate project with Pip, she can help you to develop a mood and your materials and finishes palate).
  • include everything you have in mind about the job you want done
  • attached the design plans, if you have them

Why a brief is important

It is important to do this to get an accurate quote and avoid variation down the track. If you don’t specify exactly what you want in the beginning, the quote may only include the cheapest products and materials. We want to meet your expectations and quality that you expect. We have developed a brief template that we can help you complete if you are not confident or just want us to help fill it in for you.

Non building example of why it is crucial, I know a certain bride (Claire Stalley) who told a florist she wanted pretty flowers, now I can tell you that pretty is not the same for any two people. The Maid of Honor (me, Pip Stalley) almost had a heartache envisioning a bunch of Gerberas!!! From then on, together we wrote a job brief for each section of the wedding.

Phew not a Gerbera in sight!

My apologies if you like Gerberas.

Tip 1: How to check a tradie’s licence

Since being involved in the construction industry, I have seen and heard some shocking stories about dodgy work. This is my number one tip for anyone looking for a Builder.

Check their trade licence:

  1. That it is current
  2. In their own name
  3. That it doesn’t have any restrictions

I didn’t know:

  1. A carpenter can work under another builder’s licence
  2. Their licence may only enable them to do a certain value of work
  3. Some tradies who advertise as a builder may only have a maintenance and cleaning licence

This is the link to do the check:

Feel free to give it a try and look up Damian Batten.