Please note that this service is currently unavailable. However, you are welcome to leave your details through our contact form and we will let you know when it is resumed. For more resources related to building projects, feel free to visit the resources section of Building Disputes Tribunal.
When you are doing any building or renovation work, there are so many exciting decisions to make that sometimes the simpler things are overlooked - including making sure the money you have saved for the project is safe and protected.
For as little as $100, BuildSafe provides a service where you pay money that you would otherwise have been required to pay to the builder as a deposit into an independent trust account. BuildSafe will hold that money safely in trust and will only release it when the work that you asked the builder to do is properly completed.
CASE STUDY - THE BUILDER WHO NEVER CAME TO SITE
We talked with an elderly couple who were getting a garage extension done to their Auckland home. They had contacted a builder from the local paper who came around and gave them a quote. The quote was within their budget and the builder could start straight away so they gave him the job. The next day the builder came and asked for a payment of $5,000 so that he could go and buy the materials needed to do the job. The couple paid the money in good faith and, sadly, the builder had no intention of using the money for the garage extension - he took their $5,000 and was never seen again.
Had this couple used BuildSafe that money would have been sitting in a bank account and would only have been given to the builder when the job was finished.
WHY WOULD YOU USE BUILDSAFE?
The reason why you would use BuildSafe is simple - BuildSafe protects your money either from the builder taking your money but never doing any work or from a builder going "bust" and leaving you with no money to pay to have the job completed.
If you give the builder any money up front and they disappear or their company goes under, the chances of recovering that money are difficult, if not impossible. However, if the money is held by BuildSafe in an ASB trust account dedicated for your job, it will still be there no matter what the builder does.
We know from our 40 years' experience that professional contractors do not need a deposit to provide construction services - they have established relationships with suppliers and subcontractors which operate on credit or trade accounts.
The credit has been obtained based on trust and past performance - no track record and no trust results in no credit. That is why good builders do not need a deposit to do the work and that is why you need to ask yourself why your builder or supplier is demanding a deposit from you before they can start the works. What they really need is to be satisfied that you are committed to the project and are 'good for the money' once they have completed the work. You can provide them with this satisfaction by depositing a Security Amount into a BuildSafe trust account pending completion of the contract works.
HOW DO I USE BUILDSAFE?
It's very simple to use BuildSafe to protect your money. You just need to complete a short Application Form
that records your basic details. Once we receive this form we will process your application and send you a 'Notice of Acceptance' to use the BuildSafe service conditional on the payment of the deposit (which we call a Security Amount
). Once the Security Amount has been received into the BuildSafe Trust Account we will send you a second document called a 'Notice of Initiation' which lets you and the contractor know that you can begin your project. At this time we send you a full suite of documents to assist you with contracting with one another throughout the project and you proceed with the project dealing directly with the contractor until the job is finished. Of course, if you have any questions throughout the project and would like some advice you can call or email us with those queries.
When you agree that the works are properly completed, we will pay the money we hold to the builder and in the event that there is a dispute, we will help you and the builder resolve it.
WHEN SHOULD I USE BUILDSAFE?
BuildSafe can be used when you do any building or renovation work including a new house, a kitchen, a bathroom, an extension, a deck, a new garage, a fence or a swimming pool or any number of other building/renovation projects. If someone asks you for money in advance, use BuildSafe. Why should you be required to pay anyone up front before the work has been done - do you get paid in advance?
For more examples of when to use BuildSafe, click here.
We will be happy to send you more information. Please contact us here so that we can send you exactly what you need to know about BuildSafe as a Home Owner.