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Building or extending? The right contract can save you time and money


The latest edition of Australian Building Industry Contracts launches today, representing the most contemporary version of the most widely used building contract in Australia.

The contracts, known as ‘ABIC’, provide the market with an up-to-the-minute suite of standard form contracts for a variety of building works, from small extensions right through to large residential and commercial projects.

“The best thing about ABIC is that they are developed by builders and architects, designed to be simple and clear, and reduce the chances of dispute and confusion that is frequently the cause of costly delays,” said CEO of Master Builders Australia,” Denita Wawn.

“The 2018 version of ABIC represents the most comprehensive update in several years, and recent improvements will provide owners, builders and architects with greater certainty when embarking on a building project,” she said.

Arising from a partnership between Master Builders Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects, ABIC contracts have a focus on avoiding disputes by ensuring the fine detail is clear and simple.

“A strong and transparent relationship between architects, builders and their clients delivers the best outcomes for all parties,” Australian Institute of Architects Chief Executive Jennifer Cunich said.

“The updated ABIC suite provides practitioners and consumers with comprehensive, accessible contracts to help ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget. They are a very practical way of assisting the construction or renovation process to proceed smoothly and with a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all involved,” she said.

The ABIC suite offers both base and subcontracts for a variety of works including:

  • Major Works – medium to large commercial or residential projects involving work to be completed in stages;
  • Simple Works – smaller to medium sized residential and commercial projects; and
  • Basic Works – small projects or those involving a single trade.

Denita Wawn said anyone embarking on a building project, large or small, should make sure that their architect and builder are using the latest version of ABIC.

“Together with the optional plain English user guides and forms, the 2018 ABIC contracts offer an effective way to ensure everyone knows where they stand, reducing the chances of expensive delay and costly project blow-outs,” said Denita Wawn.

The 2018 ABIC are now available for purchase from either the Institute’s contract website or MBA’s website.

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