Whether you’re renovating the entire house, updating your kitchen or adding an outdoor alfresco, here are three things you may want to do before you get started.

  1. Get into the details
    Your project may seem quick and easy, but before you get started, make sure you’ve gone through the details: 

    • What’s the goal of the project? If you want to increase the resale value of the home, you may want to carefully balance the number of expensive improvements you make otherwise you may fall short recouping costs.
    • Will you need a permit or a specialist to help? Even do-it-yourselfers often need experts – plumbers, electricians – and many seemingly small projects need permits as well.
  2. Find the right builder
    One of the best ways to find a builder you can trust is to ask friends or family for recommendations, then check for customer reviews online. 

    If you’re not sure the builder is the right one for your job, ask questions, for example:

    • What kinds of projects do you specialise in?
    • Do you use subcontractors, and if so, how are they chosen?
    • Can you provide proof of insurance to protect you and your other workers?
    • Do you have customer references?
    • Can I see your “certificate of liability” to make sure your insurance limits are high enough for my project? (NB: their limit should be as high as the value of the project. If you’re building a $3 million home, the builder should have at least $3 million in liability coverage for any one occurrence.)

    Mother plays with baby
  3. Review the building contract
    Always make sure you understand and are comfortable with the building contract provided by your builder before you proceed with the project. You may even want to have a lawyer look it over, to make sure it is clear and covers what you need. For example, make sure your contract does not contain a section on “waiving your right to subrogation.” If the builder is negligent, and you had signed a waiver like this, you may find yourself in a situation where you’re unable to recover your losses from a third party if there is a lawsuit.

    Here’s some basic suggestions on what a contract should include at a minimum:

    • The details of the project
    • Start and end dates, including interim dates for multi-phase projects
    • Information about permits, licenses and inspections, and who will be responsible for obtaining them
    • Payment amounts and due dates, warranties and guarantees

    Your legal representative should be able to provide you with specialised advice relating to your building contract.

Finally, before commencing any works to your home, advise your broker and/or insurance company as policy conditions may apply.

Related Product: Masterpiece Home Insurance
Explore how Chubb’s masterpiece home insurance can cover your most valuable possessions.
Explore how Chubb’s masterpiece home insurance can cover your most valuable possessions.

This content is brought to you by Chubb Insurance Australia Limited (“Chubb”) as a convenience to readers and is not intended to constitute advice (professional or otherwise) or recommendations upon which a reader may rely. Any references to insurance cover are general in nature only and may not suit your particular circumstances. Chubb does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and any insurance cover referred to is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions set out in the relevant policy wording. Please obtain and read carefully the relevant insurance policy before deciding to acquire any insurance product. A policy wording can be obtained at www.chubb.com/au, through your broker or by contacting any of the Chubb offices. Chubb makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content. Readers relying on any content do so at their own risk. It is the responsibility of the reader to evaluate the quality and accuracy of the content. Reference in this content (if any) to any specific commercial product, process, or service, and links from this content to other third party websites, do not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by Chubb and shall not be used for advertising or service/product endorsement purposes. ©2020 Chubb Insurance Australia Limited ABN: 23 001 642 020 AFSL: 239687. Chubb®, its logos, and Chubb.Insured.SM are protected trademarks of Chubb.

Have questions?

Contact a broker today.

Tips & Resources

We help you stay ahead and informed with these helpful tips and tricks

Cyber
6 Ways to Protect Yourself From Hackers
Where was the last public place you visited that had Wi-Fi? These days, nearly every coffee shop, library, airport and hotel offers a way t
Valuables
Why You Need a Valuation for Your Collectibles — and How to Get One
Whether you’ve inherited a few pieces of jewellery, are starting to collect sports memorabilia, or have invested in wine or fine art over t