Why the builders carrot is always a raw deal

Has your builder ever bribed you with the preference on the next project if you walk away from outstanding payments on his current job? 

Maybe the money isn’t outstanding, but a bunch of variations are still “for discussion”. 

If you knew what your builder was really thinking when he suggests this arrangement to you, you would focus your quoting efforts elsewhere and force your competitors into his trap. 

Now before I get into the juicy stuff, I need to give you a disclaimer. This blog is about you being asked to walk away from proper, honest to goodness costs that are legitimately owed to you. I trust that you will know in your gut whether this is truly the case, or whether there’s a genuine dispute afoot. 

To be clear, there is a difference between a builder who is trying to settle a barney with you on a good bloke basis, and a builder who is trying to hoodwink you out of your final claim.  


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3 innocent reasons the Builder needs you to start work on site without a written Contract 

If you are an Aussie Subcontractor and your builder needs you to start work on site without a written contract squared away, there are a handful of (arguably) innocent reasons this is happening.  

When I say innocent, what I mean is that the builder probably isn’t being predatory when he asked you this favour. More commonly, there are procedural or organisational hurdles internally for the builder that should be cause for you to proceed with caution. 

Here’s what they are: 

1. The design is likely to change, he knows it, and he doesn’t want to lock you into a scope of work before he ‘all in’ commits to giving you the job.

After all, if he signs the contract with you then you’re not going to price the changes keenly are you? He’s worried you’ll think its open slather, and he’s trying to delay giving you the leverage.  

But all is...

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Is your relationship with your builder a two way street?


I'm about to ask you a one simple question that will change the way you interact with your builder indefinitely.

The answer to this question is the reason that your relationship with your builder can never make you invincible from the risk of doing business with him.

You already know why you think you need to have a relationship with your builder and/or his staff. You guys tell me every single day that you think you need a relationship in order to win work.

Here's the kicker, the fact that you need that relationship, is exactly the reason the builder doesn't need one at all.

Put it this way, if you're relying on relationships to win work, there are so many of your competitors out there that your builder can pick and choose.

So if the builder doesn't need your relationship, why would he want one?

As an ex builder's CA who is guilty of leveraging the R word back in the day, I'll tell you exactly why...

Your builder wants (not...

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Why you can’t expect your Builder to pay you on time EVERY time, in full…

I’m sure this post will win me some enemies, but here goes.

The reason you can’t expect your builder to pay you on time EVERY time, in full, is because nobody in business, can expect to get paid on time EVERY time, in full.

It just isn’t a commercial reality.

And I’m not just talking about the construction industry here – unless you have a product that people pay for in advance (say for example, donuts) then there is a very real possibility that you won’t get paid on time, every single time, in full.

When I was about 10 years old my Dad took us on a holiday to North Queensland. It was the longest trip I’d ever been on by car. In some tiny country town along the way, while Dad was filling our tank with fuel, my Mum went inside to order coffees. Dad assumed my Mum paid for the fuel and vice versa. It wasn’t until we were 50km further down the road that my parents discovered that neither of them had paid.

Dad did the craziest U-turn on...

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