5 Steps to Acceptance of a Construction Work
Acceptance of work is a legal act of accepting or rejecting all or part of a construction job.
– It is imperative that you be present and conduct a thorough inspection of the site.
You can also choose to be assisted by a professional, especially if you know that you will have reservations in advance.
You should know that careful monitoring of the construction site during the building process makes the acceptance of the work much more manageable. Here are the steps to follow to accept the construction work properly.
Note: you will receive a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt informing you of the date of acceptance of the work.
Step 1. Choose a professional to assist you or not
You have the right to ask a building professional to assess and accept the work for you.
Consider the value of professional assistance.
There are advantages and disadvantages to having a professional assist you with the handover.
◦ Contracting a professional to assist you will add to the cost of the operation.
◦ In any case, the providers have damage insurance, which will allow you to be compensated in case of defects.
◦ If you don’t know anything about the building trades, you might not see the providers intentionally hidden some defects.
◦ You will be sure that everything is OK so that you can move in immediately.
◦ Suppose, thanks to conscientious site monitoring; you already know that you will have to make reservations. In that case, the help of a building expert will make it easier to identify these reservations on the minutes.
◦ Some defects could escape your notice and then have significant consequences once the warranty period provided by the damage to work insurance is over.
Choose a building professional.
The professional mandated for the reception of the work can be:
– An architect, which you can find on the directory of the Australian Order of Architects
– A building diagnostician, which you will find on the directories of the certification bodies.
– Any other professional of the building industry, holder of professional civil liability.
Good to know: the professional whose services you hire must be declared as such and have civil liability insurance. If his inspection reveals deficiencies, you will be able to claim compensation from his insurer.
Step 2. Equip yourself for the reception of the work
Before you go to the worksite, make sure you have
– A camera and video: in case of defects, it will be necessary to keep evidence. A smartphone or a camera capable of taking videos will do the trick.
– A flashlight: you will need to look in the attic, in the false ceiling and in other poorly lit areas to track down manufacturing defects. A light will be handy.
– An electrical device: You will need to test the electrical outlets. Have some device that works on a mains outlet: battery charger, bedside lamp, etc.
– A light bulb to test the sockets.
– A tape measure and a spirit level to check that everything is per the contract.
Step 3. Make sure your contractors are present
In case you have entrusted the work to a project manager.
The project manager is the person in charge of coordinating the construction between the various contractors.
If you have used a project manager (construction of an individual house, sale in the state of future completion, project management contract), the manager must be present.
If you have entrusted the work to several service providers
If you supervise the construction yourself, and you have assigned different stages to different service providers, you have two options:
– Carry out the acceptance of work individually with each contractor.
– Carry out a group acceptance of work.
The contractors involved in the work being accepted must be present.
Note: It will often be necessary to make an individual acceptance of each contractor, as the work of one provider must be completed before the work of another can begin.
If you don’t want to deal with too many contractors, calling on a professional company is necessary. They would take charge of the whole project from conception to finish, so you don’t have to take the trouble from all the above discussed.
Step 4. Inspect everything thoroughly
Inspect with the relevant providers.
In each room, check:
1. The electrical system:
◦ Try the electrical appliance you brought in at all outlets.
◦ Turn on and off all the switches several times and with rapid frequency.
◦ Turn on all the lights at the same time and run the hot water. You will then know if the electrical system can handle a high energy demand inside the home.
2. The heating system, even if it is summer.
3. The proper functioning of the doors and windows:
◦ Open and close doors and windows.
◦ Test the locks.
◦ Try to locate air leaks by putting your hand on the windows to check they are well insulated.
4. Masonry: track down cracks, stand back to see if the finish is uniform.
5. The attic, the cellar and the crawl space with your lamp: check that there are no holes through which birds and rats could get in.
6. The plumbing: open all the taps simultaneously, and see if the flow is sufficient; flush the toilet.
7. The floors and walls: their general appearance, the quality of the connections, the coverings, etc.
All around the house, check:
– the ground: its condition, the excellent drainage of runoff water;
– the facades: appearance, absence of cracks
– the condition of the roof;
– the zinc work: waterproofing of gutters, window frames.
Step 5. Draw up the report
The builder or the project manager will come with two copies of the minutes so that you can keep one. You will have to write down the reasons for refusal of acceptance or the good acceptance of the work.
If you notice defects
In case of defects, you have two options:
– Accept the handover of the keys, but note the defects on the report. You will then not be required to pay the balance until the corrections have been made.
– Refuse the keys outright because the property is not habitable.
If there are no defects you have been assisted by a professional, you must pay immediately, and the acceptance is irrevocable.
If you were not assisted by a professional, you must pay within eight days. You have seven working days to report by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt of the defects you would have missed during the reception of work.
Once the work is completed, you must send the declaration of completion of the work to your local council within 30 days.