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A Guide To Practical Completion

By Abodable November 18, 2021, Read time: 5 min

The term Practical Completion creates an enormous sense of excitement when it comes to your new build! Practical Completion must mean the home is, well, complete, and you're ready to get the keys...right?
Well, while technically the house is complete, it's a little bit more in-depth than that. At this stage, inspections need to occur, documents must be signed, insurances organised, and money paid. πŸ’΅
So what does this mean for you? We've listed all you need to know below:
Let's start with being notified of Practical Completion
Practical Completion means that the home is complete per your contract and specifications, excluding minor omissions and defects. 

At this stage, you will receive an invitation to attend a Practical Completion inspection with your builder to inspect the home, make a note of anything that still needs to be done and any defects that you may see or the builder may have picked up. It is also common for a third-party inspector to be at these meetings to act as an objective party for you and the builder; however, this isn't mandatory. 

A document listing any outstanding items will be produced, and these items will be rectified by your "Handover" date (more on that below). Common omissions can include the following:

  • Carpet to be installed
  • Blinds to be installed
  • House to be cleaned
  • Landscaping to be completed

So why would your builder call Practical Completion if these aren't done? In most cases, you want these items carried out just before you get the keys. The builder wouldn't lay carpet if there were still trades to come in and out as it could get damaged before you get the keys. Similarly, they wouldn't install plants or lay turf that they may not be able to maintain daily to keep it fresh for you until you move in!

After your inspection, you will generally receive:
  • A final invoice
  • Any outstanding variation invoices
  • A final certificate 
  • A notice of practical Completion and;
  • A 'handover' date (the date you get the keys and move in! Usually two weeks after your Practical Completion inspection)

You must send the final invoice and final certificate to your financier as soon as you receive them. Your financier will need to book their property inspection (done by a valuer) before releasing the funds to the builder. This inspection can sometimes take weeks to organise, so the sooner you can get these documents to the bank, the quicker the funds will be paid. 

You will also need to organise your home insurance and request a Certificate of Currency as evidence of this from your insurer. The bank will require this before they release the funds. 

Let's get the keys!
OK! That may have been a lot to take in, but by now, the following has happened:

  • You've had your PC inspection
  • You've sent your final invoice, final certificate and Certificate of Currency to your financier
  • Any final variation invoices have been paid to the builder
  • The final invoice has been paid to the builder
  • The builder has received any outstanding money and;
  • The builder has confirmed the date and time of your handover

It's here, the day you get your keys! πŸ”‘

Again, it's not a 'hand you the keys and see you later' scenario. The builder will meet you at the property, walk you through the list of omissions and defects and show you what has been rectified. At this point, you will also be able to pick up anything else you feel is a defect or omission. The builder will list this on a 'defects document', a legal document stating that the builder must come back and rectify these items. 

They will also walk you through anything you need to know, such as where remotes may live, technical information on fixtures, fittings or appliances etc. 

Once this has all happened, it's the moment you've been waiting for; the builder will hand you the keys to your brand new home! 

Time to crack the champagne, do a happy dance and start making that house your home!🍾πŸ₯‚

All of this information can be a lot to remember when it comes time to build your home. To make things simple, we've developed a "Practical Completion Checklist" download. Follow this checklist, and you can be sure that the handover of your new home will be a breeze!

Don't want to go it on your own? Contact us today to start building your new home! The Abodable team are your new home advocates. We stand beside you throughout the entire build process and help ensure that you have a smooth experience from start to finish.