Services

Independent expert advice for building disputes

For Home Owners/Builders & renovators

We have all seen TV shows about renovating and building and it all seems pretty straight forward right? WRONG! Construction and Construction Law is complex; contracts, tenders and documents become the fodder for the legal arguments when it all goes wrong. If the contract documents do not clearly express the expectations and are not comprehensively understood by both parties, it can lead to a stressful, time-consuming and costly litigation process with no certainty of the outcome.

I am Andrew Steward, the Director of A1 Building Consultants Australia Pty Ltd. I have been in the building construction industry for 37 years and have seen many changes over my time. We don’t all see the world the same way, and the same goes when it comes to contract documentation. My philosophy is to avoid damage control and get the documents right at the start. The money you spend at the beginning of your project could end up saving tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars at the end of the project. We provide the following services to help you negotiate your way through the tendering and building process.

On your behalf, we can:

  • Run the tendering process with your selected builders
  • Run background checks and references
  • Compile the documentation, including forming a Scope of Work and Schedules for Tender
  • Review tender estimates
  • Provide contract administration
  • Review building progress and provide reports

If you have started your project and find yourself in dispute, we can initially provide mediation between the parties with the intention to resolve the issues. Or, in the case that Fair Trading has not been able to resolve the matter and has now been escalated to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), District or Supreme Court, our involvement in many successful cases makes us highly experienced and confident in the litigation process. We will also provide the necessary documentation including Expert Reports and Scott Schedules.

It is important to understand our duty as an Expert is to the Court; we are governed by Schedule 7 Expert Code Of Conduct. As an Expert Witness, our overriding duty is to the court, to be impartial and to assist the court to understand the matter at hand. We are not an advocate for those who are paying our fees and we must at all times retain our independence.

To find out more about how the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal works, use the link https://www.ncat.nsw.gov.au/.

If you believe our service would be beneficial to you, please contact us to make an appointment to discuss your project.

For Solicitors

I would like to introduce myself. I am Andrew Steward, the Director of A1 Building Consultants Australia Pty Ltd. I have been in the building construction industry for 37 years, initially as a carpenter, then as a builder and now as a building consultant. I have seen many changes over my time and know that we don’t all see the world the same way. The same applies when it comes to contract documentation.

My philosophy is to avoid litigation whenever possible and get the documents right at the start if possible; we know that this is not always the case. I understand that Construction Law is complex and my job is primarily to assist the court and legal parties to understand the building issues in dispute.

Our involvement in many successful cases that have been decided in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), the District and Supreme makes us highly experienced and confident in the litigation process. We will also provide the necessary documentation including Expert Reports and Scott Schedules.

I understand that our duty as an Expert is to the Court; we are governed by Schedule 7 Expert Code Of Conduct. As an Expert Witness, our overriding duty is to the court, to be impartial and to assist the court to understand the matter at hand. We are not an advocate for those who are paying our fees and we must at all times retain our independence.

Please contact me to discuss further how I may be of assistance to you and the clients. I can provide a Fee Schedule which you will find very reasonable. All jobs are carried out on an hourly rate due to unknown quantity of work required and must be paid prior to the release of any documentation.

You can download a copy of my Fee Schedule and Curriculum Vitae here. 

For Architects

As an Architect, your passion is most likely the love of designing a beautiful structure, to sculpt a home that many will admire and the owners will love. You are also aware of the complexities of construction law and the importance of the Contract Tender documentation, particularly when it comes to legal disputes.

I am Andrew Steward, the Director of A1 Building Consultants Australia Pty Ltd. I have been in the building construction industry for 37 years and have seen many changes over my time. We don’t all see the world the same way, and the same goes when it comes to contract documentation. My philosophy is to avoid damage control and get the documents right at the start. The money spent at the beginning of the project could end up saving your clients tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars at the end of the project. We provide a service to help your clients negotiate their way through the tendering process, leaving you to focus on designing beautiful buildings.

On your behalf, we can:

  • Carry out Dilapidation reports
  • Run the tendering process with your selected builders
  • Run background checks and references
  • Compile the documentation, including forming a Scope of Work and Schedules for Tender
  • Review tender estimates
  • Provide contract administration
  • Review building progress and provide reports

If you have started your project and find yourself in dispute, we can initially provide mediation between the parties with the intention to resolve the issues. Or, in the case that Fair Trading has not been able to resolve the matter and has now been escalated to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), District or Supreme Court, our involvement in many successful cases makes us highly experienced and confident in the litigation process. We will also provide the necessary documentation including Expert Reports and Scott Schedules.

It is important to understand our duty as an Expert is to the Court; we are governed by Schedule 7 Expert Code Of Conduct. As an Expert Witness, our overriding duty is to the court, to be impartial and to assist the court to understand the matter at hand. We are not an advocate for those who are paying our fees and we must at all times retain our independence.

If you believe our service would be beneficial to you, please contact us to make an appointment to discuss your project.

For Insurance Companies

I am Andrew Steward, the Director of A1 Building Consultants Australia Pty Ltd. I have been in the building construction industry for 37 years starting as a carpenter, progressed to builder and am now a building consultant. As a building consultant, I carry out many different inspections and, based on the findings, create the following reports:

  • Defect reports
  • Dilapidation reports
  • Asbestos surveys and reports
  • Construction Progress reports
  • Project Support / Management
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Expert Witness
  • General Building Inspections reports
  • Tiling Inspections reports
  • Timber reports
  • Waterproofing Inspections reports

I understand that, as an insurance company, you are faced with many different building issues and need to have the damage assessed by a professional, independent party to clearly define the required scope of works, cost or provide expert reports for litigation purposes. Our involvement in many successful cases that have been decided in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), the District and Supreme Courts makes us highly experienced and confident in the litigation process. We will also provide the necessary documentation including Expert Reports and Scott Schedules.

We would be happy to offer our services and see how we may assist you in any future claims that require inspection and reports.

For Builders

As a builder, you probably believe that because you do the right thing you will never see the inside of a courtroom. I hope that’s true, but unfortunately just because you do the right thing doesn’t mean your employees or contractor will always do right by you and, in some cases, this may lead you down a path you never expected to go.

Most builders don’t know a lot about building consultants and what we do because they are too busy doing what they do the best; building.

I am Andrew Steward, the Director of A1 Building Consultants Australia Pty Ltd. I have been in the building construction industry for 37 years and have seen many changes over that time. I started as a carpenter, progressed to builder and with further study and lots of time spent around lawyers became a building consultant. A1 Building Consultants have strong affiliations with Legal representation, Structural, Hydraulic and Geotechnical Engineering and other specialised consultants. We specialise in waterproofing and all building and legal matters.

We also provide the following administration and reporting functions:

  • Project Scheduling with Microsoft Project
  • Estimating
  • Contract administration
  • Legal support
  • Defects reporting
  • Dilapidation reporting
  • Asbestos surveying
  • Expert Witness reporting
  • BCA Compliance
  • HWI reporting
  • Engineering
  • Designing Scopes of Work

The construction industry has become highly litigious, so having your contract documents and a good contract administration system in place is critical. My philosophy is to avoid litigation whenever possible and get the documents right at the start; we know that this is not always the case. I understand that Construction Law is complex, and our job is primarily to assist the court and legal parties to understand the building issues in dispute.

For Strata & Real Estate

Strata & Real Estate

As a Strata Manager, your job is difficult dealing with minor building issues through to major remediation work. I am Andrew Steward, and I have been involved in the building industry for 37 years, starting as a carpenter, then as a builder and now I am a building consultant. Over my time I have been involved with the full range of construction, including small renovations, building houses, swimming pools, factories, apartments and shopping centres. After seeing so many problems that people face after the fact, I wanted to be involved in trying to help people navigate their way through the mine field of construction, so I developed A1 Building Consultants Australia Pty Ltd

A1 Building Consultants have strong affiliations with Legal representation, Structural, Hydraulic and Geotechnical Engineering and other specialised consultants. We specialise in waterproofing, and all building and legal matters.

We also provide the following administration and reporting functions:

  • Project management
  • Designing Scopes of Work for remedial works
  • Estimating
  • Contract administration
  • Legal support
  • Defects reporting
  • Dilapidation reporting
  • Asbestos surveying
  • Expert Witness reporting
  • BCA Compliance
  • HWI reporting
  • Engineering

As you are aware, buildings that were built in the 1950s through to the ‘70s, particularly those closest to the eastern seaboard, are now showing signs of deterioration particularly in the form of concrete spalling better known as concrete cancer. There are several ways concrete spalling can occur; the main two are when oxygen and moisture access the steel reinforcement inside a concrete structure through small cracks in the concrete. The reinforcing steel corrodes (rust) and expands thereby cracking the concrete around it. Magnesite flooring is one of the major causes of concrete spalling. Magnesium oxychloride is a chemical in the glue in magnesite and over many years has been found to be leaching into concrete structures. This then reacts with the reinforcing steel, rusting it inside the slab.

It is challenging to understand how much of a concrete structure has been affected and how to quantify the work. There are testing methods such as core drilling the structure to analyse core samples or radar and sonar testing. These methods are all expensive and the results are not exactly 100% accurate, However, where warranted, the testing should be engaged to get a better understanding before going to a tender process.

We understand the processes and how tenders are based on estimates of quantities. We have seen many cases where these estimates have fallen well-short to cover the actual work and have ended up in litigation, costing everybody more money and time. What was required in the initial research was not carried out appropriately and the extent of damage at the start of a project was not fully considered.

If the correct processes are not carried out, this can then leave the residents in a very difficult position as the builder has been engaged, a contract has been signed, and now the builder is able to negotiate variations with very limited objection. The strata levies are then raised, residents become overstressed and a vicious cycle begins.

The construction industry has become highly litigious; having your contract documentation and sound contract administration systems in place is critical. My philosophy is to avoid litigation whenever possible and get the documents right at the start.

A1 Building Consultants can manage the process to contain the cost to the residents and make sure that the contract they are entering into is one that will not leave them at the mercy of the remedial company. The first step is to assess the possible issues at hand so that we can advise the appropriate course of action to proceed. We shall handle the testing process if required, design the Scope of Works, carry out an independent tendering process and contract manage and/or administrate the project. At all times we will keep the strata committee up to date, report work progress, track cost and manage variations by conducting a comparison cost analysis and risk assessments.

We can assure you that in this day and age of litigation, our services will save you and your clients money, time and stress by designing the right Scope of Works, and developing clear and concise contract documentation.

If you would like further information or to discuss any of our services, please contact us to make an appointment to discuss your project.

Contact Us

0412 090 641

info@a1bca.com.au