The contract normally refers to ‘practical completion’ and this is reached when the works have been completed in accordance with the contract and plans except for ‘minor omission and defects’ that do not affect the building works being used for their intended use.
Occasionally, there may be items that cannot be completed along with the rest of the renovation. For example, lighting switch plates may be on backorder by the supplier, or a cabinet door may have been sent back to the manufacturer due to a flaw. Such items would be a ‘minor omission or defect’ but should not prevent practical completion from being reached.
Any items like this should be written down, along with your builder’s estimate of when they will be finished. If there is seasonal work, such as landscaping, that cannot be completed until warmer weather, the timing and payment schedule for this work should be set out in your contract.
At the same time, ask your builder about normal maintenance requirements for any aspect of your home that has been altered. In most cases, material and product manufacturers provide maintenance information with their products, but it is a good idea to review it with your builder at the end of the project.
Depending on the type of renovation work you had done, settling of soil around the foundation may occur. Ask your builder about the likelihood of this happening and if you should hold off on plantings and other landscaping for a while. You also want to know if you may need to re-grade areas around the foundation to ensure stormwater continues to drain away from your home properly.
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