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Know these com­mon terms to keep your project on track.

BASIX: The Build­ing Sus­tain­abil­ity In­dex is part of the plan­ning process in NSW. You need a BASIX cer­tifi­cate be­fore you be­gin ap­ply­ing for per­mits and ap­provals.

DA: Devel­op­ment Ap­pli­ca­tion. You can pre­pare a DA your­self, but it’s of­ten done by the de­sign pro­fes­sional work­ing on your job like the ar­chi­tect or build­ing de­signer.

Na­tional Con­struc­tion Code or NCC: “This is the big fat doc­u­ment to which all build­ing work must com­ply,” says Kaitlin. “You’ll prob­a­bly hear the NCC re­ferred to through­out the project”. You can down­load a free copy by reg­is­ter­ing on the Aus­tralian Build­ing Codes Board (ABCB) web­site.

Walk Through or De­fects: The fi­nal in­spec­tion of the new work to iden­tify any­thing that needs fix­ing by the builder. The word­ing will dif­fer de­pend­ing on your con­tract.

Prime Cost Items: This re­lates to fix­tures and fit­tings like tiles, kitchen join­ery and ap­pli­ances, floor­ing, bath­room fit­tings, light fit­tings, etc.

Scope of Works: The doc­u­ment spec­i­fy­ing cri­te­ria of a con­tract be­tween you and your builder. It should clearly state project re­quire­ments, mile­stones, doc­u­ments and re­ports that are ex­pected to be pro­vided by your builder.

Al­lowances: When pre­par­ing a quote, builders will make an al­lowance for items where there’s no set price. This in­cludes things like elec­tri­cal, tiling, light­ing, etc. Once you’ve agreed to that al­lowance, that’s how much money you’ve got to spend on that item.

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