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Do’s & Dont’s of Purchasing a Portable Building

Buyer Beware

If you’re in the market to purchase a new home, granny flat, parent retreat, cabin, office, studio or any type of building, like any investment you need to do your due diligence. There are many, particularly in the portable building industry, who are making very convincing statements and guarantees but unfortunately don’t have the qualifications to support them.

Listed below are some of the things to look for in selecting a building supplier:

Are they qualified?

  • Is the company registered with the Qbcc (Queensland), Fair
    Trading NSW (NSW) etc?
  • Is the Qbcc number visible on their website or advertising (if not
    it’s illegal to be advertising at all)
  • Under the regulations you can not construct any building over a
    certain value if you are not registered with the relevant
    authority
  • In Queensland any construction works over $3,000 the builder
    must supply Qbcc Home Warranty Insurance. The minimum varies from State to State. This covers you for 6 Years for any defective building works.
  • Some manufactures will supply only ex their yard and not install your portable building on your property. This is usually because they are not licenced to do so and therefore are unable pay the mandatory Qbcc Home Warranty insurance.
  • If the Home Warranty insurance is not paid on the building it also will not be certified.
  • If the manufacturer can not supply Qbcc Home Warranty insurance on your building you will not be able to insure the building.
  • If the installation is subcontracted out to a subcontractor and this portion of the works is over $3,000, he will pay the Home Warranty insurance BUT only on the onsite works i.e. the footings, NOT the building itself.

Is the building been built to the NCC Building Code (National Construction Code) formally BCA?

  • Ask for proof, can they supply the necessary Form 15 & 16’s Certificates the Certifier will require to have the building Certified.
    Direct Portable Buildings can supply a list of the necessary forms.

Can they supply an Energy Efficiency Certificate 6 Star Rating?

  • In Qld & Nsw you require a 6 Star Rating under the current
    regulations and for Certification.

What type of contract will you be signing?

  • Direct Portable Buildings are a member of the HIA (Housing
    Industry of Australia) therefore we use HIA QC1 Contracts for new buildings.
  • Others are the Qbcc QC1 and the Master Builders Association supply legitimate building contract as well. While other forms of contracts may be legal but the ones listed are based on the current building codes and regulations.

Can you inspect the building works during construction?

  • Under a HIA or Qbcc QC1 contract you are entitled to inspect the
    works under the Contractors Supervision.
  • If not ask for photos of the progress (and proof that it’s your
    building under construction)

Are the building materials used compliant under the relative regulations?

Qbcc Regs, NCC 2019, AS/NZ Standards?

  • If any of the materials supplied do not comply the building will not be certified.

Will the building be engineered specifically for you?

  • Some manufacturers will supply generic engineers’ drawings
    which are not site specific, in essence they will supply the same
    drawings just change the name.
  • Every building should be specifically designed for each project.
    ▪ Built for the specific wind rating for your area
    ▪ The footing design specifically for the soil type where the
    building is to be installed.
  • Have a Form 15 & Form 16 Certificates signed off by a
    qualified engineer.

These are just some of the things to look for but in my opinion the most important items to clarify prior to signing any contracts, so I hope you find this information useful.

Direct Portable Buildings conforms with all the above listed requirements. If you have any enquiries, we are only too happy to assist.

Direct Portable Buildings strive for excellence and build our buildings to the highest standards without compromise.

Managing Director

Doug Doneman