Reading time: 4 minutes

Are you looking for building contractors to complete some residential building work? Have you looked at the Building Contract Checklist and determined that you need a building contract? Depending on the size of your project, you will need to provide different home building contracts. This article will examine the various types of building contracts in New South Wales and what you should include in them.

Small Jobs Contract

If the residential building work is worth between $5,000 and $20,000, you will need a small jobs contract. Small jobs contracts need to be in writing, and the parties (or their representatives) must sign and date them. The contracts also need to contain:

  • the names of the parties, including the name of who holds the contractor licence (as shown on the licence);
  • the contractor’s licence number;
  • the description of the work that the contract relates;
  • any plans and specifications for the work;
  • the contract price (if known);
  • a work compliance clause that states the work will comply with the Building Code of Australia, all other relevant codes and standards, and the conditions of any relevant development consent; and
  • a clause that limits the liability of the contractor for failure to comply with the work compliance clause.

The contractor must also give the homeowner a copy of the Consumer Building Guide, which outlines the laws and policies about home building.

Contracts (Other Than Small Jobs)

If the work is worth over $20,000, it requires a more detailed and extensive home building contract.

Along with the requirements listed under the small jobs contracts, it must also include clauses:

  • detailing any payments which are payable for progress under the contract;
  • stating that the parties may terminate the contract under general law principles and that this does not prevent the parties from agreeing to other circumstances in which they can terminate the contract;
  • stating that any agreement to vary the contract will form part of the contract and must be in writing;
  • detailing a checklist of the 14 items prescribed in the Home Building Regulation 2014 that the homeowner must answer ‘yes’ to;
  • stating that the homeowner is entitled to a copy of the signed contract within five days of signing;
  • detailing that the contractor is obliged to give an insurance certificate to the homeowner;
  • clearly setting out the cooling-off period of five business days;
  • of a statement of acknowledgement provided by the homeowner; and
  • about any other matters prescribed by regulations.

Fair Trading Home Building Contracts

Both these different types of building contracts are free to download as standard forms from the NSW Fair Trading website. Alternatively, you may draft your own home building contract, or use one from an industry association.

Other States

If you are considering using a NSW building contract interstate, you should be aware of the different regulations regarding compliance in each state.

In Victoria, building works worth $5000 and more will still require a contract. However, the contracts are all standard major domestic building contracts. There is also no division between small jobs and large jobs.

In South Australia, the parties only need a written building contract for building work valued at $12,000 or more.

Queensland has fairly extensive regulations regarding contracts and contains multiple contracts including for:

  • major works;
  • minor works;
  • demolition of residential premises;
  • new home constructions; and
  • renovation.

Key Takeaways

Deciding which building contract to use will largely depend on the total value of the work. For larger projects where the work is worth over $20,000, the contract will be more extensive and require more specific clauses. For work worth less than $20,000, you will need a small jobs contract. If you have any questions or need assistance drafting a building contract, contact LegalVision’s building lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards