Construction Lawyer Brisbane

Building Dispute Lawyer – Brisbane

We are construction lawyers who can help builders, contractors, and owners around Brisbane get out of their situation.

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We are Building Dispute Lawyers who can defend and enforce your legal rights

As one of the cities with a noticeably booming building and construction industry, Brisbane is definitely a place where construction law rights should be in its maximum enforcement. Builders and owners alike should be aware of, not just their legal rights, but most importantly, their contractual responsibilities once they enter a building project.

Building disputes can be a pain to deal with but this is why construction lawyers exist. Some people forget that there are experts who can help them resolve their problems and all they need is to make sure that they will be talking to the right person.

Our law firm consists of building dispute lawyers who can lend a helping hand to owners and builders around Brisbane. We deal with Building Disputes, Construction Contracts, and Security of Payment cases day in and day out. With over 10 years of experience in construction law, you can be confident that you are getting the right legal advice.

Building Disputes our Construction Lawyers can help you with

Residential Building Disputes

Residential or home building refers to any building work done by a contractor or tradesperson, such as: the construction of a new home the alteration or renovation of a dwelling such as building an extension to an already existing home or structure updating a bathroom or kitchen. Our building dispute lawyer has extensive experience and knowledge in handling residential building cases. That’s why you can be assured that we have handled a case similar to yours.

Non-Residential Building Disputes

Commercial Building Disputes happen when a consumer, contractor, subcontractor or other building industry professional has a complaint related to domestic or commercial building work. This can be about an unpaid debt, the performance of the work, about the construction contract for the work, or a claim of negligence, nuisance or trespass other than a claim for personal injuries. The dispute may be between: a building owner and a building contractor two or more building contractors a building owner or a building contractor, and architects, engineers, surveyors, quantity surveyors, electricians or electrical contractors, or suppliers and manufacturers of materials used in the building work

Payment Disputes

Payment issues are rampant in the building and construction industry. These issues arise from delayed payments, short payments, and non-payments. To resolve this, you can apply for adjudication under the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act. There are steps to follow and factors to consider before deciding to resort to adjudication or entering a court judgement. Our building dispute lawyer can advise you on how you can deal with your payment problems and recover your debt immediately.

Contract Disputes

Construction contracts may also cause unwanted disputes by simply being vague or badly written. This could lead to misunderstandings and could greatly affect the building project. We deal with all kinds of building contracts such as Residential, Commercial, Lump Sum, and Cost Plus. We can help you draft and review these contracts for you.


A variation refers to any adjustments made to the scope of works in a construction contract. Details may be added, substituted or omitted from the original scope of works. All variations must be in form of writing. However, there are times when builders do not follow the proper procedure, so when they ask to be paid more money, the clients or homeowners refuse to do so. In some cases, homeowners expect results that are way beyond their budget. As an expert in construction law, our building dispute lawyer knows how to navigate through such situations. We will go over your construction contract and see what can be done to rectify the situation.

QCAT and in the Courts

It is your legal right to have your building dispute case move forward to the QCAT or in the courts and have it resolved as quickly as possible. Tribunals are inexpensive, quicker, and less tedious compared to court processes. A building dispute lawyer can advise you every step of the way on how you can defend yourself in the tribunal and deal with the legal process of resolving your situation.

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Top 3 causes of building disputes we deal with

With the Brisbane construction boom happening, construction defects claims are also on the rise. A major concern is poor workmanship by contractors and builders. Poor workmanship refers to the lack of quality and skill put into a construction project. If builders are not mindful of the quality of their work and do not follow the specifications of use the wrong materials, the finished product can lack the quality that the homeowner expects.

Defective work is in breach of a construction contract by failing to maintain a specified standard or quality or is a breach of any implied warranty. Often times, the failure of building structures are due to poor workmanship and subpar quality control processes in a construction site.

A building defect is work undertaken that either has failed or is not in compliance with the Building Code of Australia as well as Australian Standards.

Contractors should execute specifications as stated on the construction contract and be mindful of the quality and expertise put into a project. They should make sure that they are up to code. Neglecting such vital details will most probably result in expensive repairs, building disputes, and lawsuits, especially since defective work can lead to injuries or even death.

Here are some examples of defective work and poor workmanship by builders:

  • installing products and materials incorrectly 
  • water leaks and faults in waterproofing that only come up after a strong rain 
  • damaged electrical wiring 
  •  tiling or plumbing problems 
  • incorrect water-to-cement ratio 
  • cracks in walls and foundations 
  • poor concrete compaction 
  •  concrete spalling 
  • use of materials of unsatisfactory quality 
  • work not compliant with drawings and specifications of a construction contract 

Most construction contracts also say that all payments are “on account” – meaning, even if the builder has been paid and the owner later finds that works are defective, the owner may recover the payments previously made.

The builder may also be required under the contract to remedy the defective works. If the builder fails to remedy the defective work within the time required, the owner may engage another person to carry out the remedial works and later recover the costs from the builder.

In some building disputes, clients complain that there are building works that have not been completed as per their construction contract.

Incomplete works usually give rise when a building contract has been terminated by either party. Building disputes happen when the builder suspends the works without proper notice or cause. Late completion is primarily a contractual matter between the homeowner and the builder.

If there are delays in the construction project, the builder must keep the owner informed and should take steps to negotiate any contractual adjustments that need to be made.

All types of variations to a home building work contract must be in writing. Most construction contracts will contain provisions that address the event of a builder not meeting the agreed date for completion.

And in some cases, a builder just completely abandons the project. The builder stops the works and does not return to the residential building, thus leaving homeowners in an undesirable position, baffled about what to do next.

Abandonment occurs when a builder is no longer able to perform or complete the work stated in their construction contract. Without a valid, legal excuse, this can make a contractor responsible for reimbursing the owner for any costs incurred as a result of the situation.

Suspicious project breakdowns, excessive use of materials, and disagreements to cost, nature and extent of works are some other causes of building disputes that our construction solicitors regularly encounter.

A variation (sometimes also called as variation instruction, variation order or change order) is a modification to the scope of works in a construction contract. It can be in the form of an addition, substitution or omission from the original scope of works.

Disagreements about these variations are common causes of building disputes in Sydney. Should there be changes to the construction plan, ideally the builder should keep the owner informed and will negotiate any contractual adjustments that need to be made- be it an extension of time and what not.

All variations to a home building work contract must be in writing. But this is not always the case, thus our construction lawyer handles these legal cases and tries to find them the best and most cost-efficient solution.

Here’s how our Building Dispute Lawyer can help you

John Dela Cruz - Construction Lawyer Brisbane