How times have changed

We came across this building contract from 1939 the other day and loved the simplicity of it.

It’s a little short on detail “... a house of four rooms, & 8ft. back verandah, situated in Marcus St. West Footscray, on land 40 x 125 feet. It is to be the same as Mrs. Storey’s with a few alterations; the cement paths are to be all white, the pillars are to be spiral.”

It seems that Marcus Street is now called Marcus Avenue and because, rather incredibly there’s no reference of the house number in the contact, it’s hard to know if the house still exists.

Of course the other thing that has changed is the price. The build cost was £730 – that’s $61,088 in today’s money. And interesting to note the deposit of £50 was paid in two installments, one of £20, with the balance of £30 two months later.

Today a building contract is far more detailed and provides clear parameters and rules on a number important issues including:

  • Contract price
  • Scope of works
  • Completion date
  • Planning approval
  • Building permits
  • Insurances
  • Payment schedule
  • How to handle delays, variations and disputes
  • Cooling off period

Here at Comdain Homes we use a standard HIA Victorian New Homes Contract that has been specifically prepared for the residential construction industry and is continually updated and amended to ensure it complies with the latest laws and regulations that apply to the home building industry.


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