Why Use a Registered Building Practitioner?
Every building project, no matter how big or small, carries some sort of risk. By using a Registered Building Practitioner you are engaging a qualified, knowledgeable and experienced professional.
If you are building a swimming pool or spa valued over $5,000, the first question you should always ask your builder is: “Are you a Registered Building Practitioner?” Being a Registered Building Practitioner is a requirement of SPASA Pool Builder membership.
You can check if your builder is registered by calling the Victorian Building Authority on 1300 360 320 or use the ‘Find a RBP ’ menu of the eToolbox at www.vba.vic.gov.au
Do Swimming Pools and Spas need to be installed by Registered Building Practitioners?
Installing a swimming pool or spa involves a number of specialised trades and techniques.
If you engage a Registered Building Practitioner or use subcontractors to undertake the work they must provide you with a major domestic building contract for work over $5,000. For work over $16,000 they must also provide domestic building insurance.
Many contracts can be confusing, or in the case of unregistered pool builders, you may even find there is no contract. Only SPASA Pool Builder Members can issue you with a SPASA Contract – a consumer friendly and easy to understand contract for the construction of your swimming pool or spa.
The SPASA Contract is tailored for pool and spa construction and provides the latest consumer protection.
It is an offence for an unregistered builder to carry out building work on a swimming pool or spa where the contract is over $5,000.
Do you need a Building Permit?
All swimming pools and spas (both in ground and above ground) greater than 300mm in depth, require a building permit in order to undertake construction work.
A building permit is also required for installing and altering all swimming pool and spa safety barriers, including windows, doors and gates that provide access to a pool or spa area.
You should always check with your municipal or private building surveyor prior to undertaking any building work and obtain a copy of the building permit.
How do you resolve Building Issues?
Your relationship with your builder is like any other business relationship. It carries certain roles and responsibilities and, as a consumer, it is important to know where to go if problems arise. There is a range of services available to advise and assist you to resolve issues or disputes, should they arise. In the first instance you should contact your builder directly to discuss and rectify the problem.
Building Advice and Conciliation Victoria is a one-stop-shop for consumers and builders, providing free advice and assistance to resolve domestic building issues.
You can contact BACV on 1300 557 559 for free advice from trained staff.
Independent legal advice may be sought from the Law Institute on 03 9607 9550.