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How do Master Builders Contracts Work?

February 18, 2021   Daniel FellowesPhilip Evangelou

Master builders contracts are pre-made documents which aim to assist construction contractors and principals by standardising agreements between parties in construction projects across a many different types of projects.

Master builders contracts are available to purchase by consumers and construction businesses from Master Builders Associations, such as Master Builders Australia, and its state and territory counterparts.

What is a master builder?

Master builders are builders who are a member of a Master Builders association. In addition to Master Builders Australia, Australia’s country-wide association, each state and territory in Australia has its own Master Builders association.

In order to become a master builder, a builder must undertake further formal qualification and accreditation beyond a standard traineeship, continue to maintain their certification, and adhere to a strict code of conduct.

Although some master builders choose to specialise, many master builders undertake both residential and commercial projects. Master builders may also be sub-contractors in a project.

What is a master builders contract?

Master builders contracts are documents drafted by construction lawyers of a master builders association. Each contract is specific to a unique type of project and for a particular state or territory. Because of this, master builders contracts are excellent frameworks for most construction projects. The contracts can also be tailored to suit the needs of an individual project.

Why use a Master Builders Contract? 

Protecting your construction business

Because master builders contracts are ready-made contracts, builders and principals in a construction project can use them to explicitly define and limit their liability.

Broadly, master builders contracts are designed to be fair and equitable to both parties, and are designed for specific types of construction projects. Further, the contracts are designed to conform to a specific state or territories laws. For example, the Master Builders Association of NSW has contracts that are tailored to NSW construction legislation specifically.

Because these contracts are drafted for specific projects and locations, they are generally considered to be more trustworthy and safer.

Time and cost effective

It is always advisable to have a written contract in place when undergoing a construction project, whether you are the principal or the builder. Whilst this goes for commercial projects as well, this is a particularly important safeguard for consumers. However, it is very costly and inefficient to have a contract drafted from scratch, particularly for a one-off project.

Master builders contracts on the other hand are a cheap and efficient alternative to drafting a new contract. Because these contracts are available for a wide variety of projects, it is likely that one exists for your needs, and you can simply make any minor alterations as you see fit.

To Sum Up

Master builders contracts are available for a wide variety of residential and commercial construction projects. These contracts are designed by construction lawyers to be fair between contracting parties. They can help to ensure that both businesses and consumers are legally protected when engaging in construction projects. They are also a quick and cheap alternative to drafting a one-off contract.

If you need assistance with a construction law matter, get in touch with one of construction lawyers. You can call us on 1300 337 997, or fill in the contact form on this page. 

About Daniel Fellowes

Avatar photoDaniel is a paralegal at OpenLegal. He is a final year business and law student at the University of Technology Sydney, majoring in finance and legal futures. His interests are newlaw, legal technology and commercial law.

About Philip Evangelou

phillipPhil is a director at OpenLegal. He has over 16 years experience working in private practice and in-house counsel in Sydney and London, giving him expertise in employment law, IP, finance, leases, dispute resolution, insurance and contracts.