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Getting the Keys and Moving in

The final steps to completion

You have watched your new house develop, from a mound of dirt with a frame, to a house with doors and windows. Before your big day of moving comes, there are a couple of important steps to take in order to get the keys to your new home. We have put together a list of what happens in this very last phase to make sure you know what is to happen, and make it a smooth process for you and your family.

Walk – thru

When your builder knows when the house will be completed, they will give you a ‘notice of practical completion’ at least five days before and invite you to meet on site to walk through the property with the supervisor. Some builders will alert you earlier than this, which gives you more time to arrange the visit.

The final walk-through is designed to allow you to check that there are no faults in the workmanship, so it can take time. If there are any faults at this stage, the builder is obliged to rectify them within a specified time frame. When you walk through with the supervisor, look carefully for any defects and call them to the attention of the supervisor.

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As well as you and the supervisor, the property will also be inspected by a private certifier. They will check that it has been built to the appropriate standards, and that all the trade work has been fully certified. Once the certifier is happy that the building is compliant and safe, they will issue an occupation certificate, which allows you to live in the property. The Home Improvement Pages have and article called ‘What is an occupation certificate’ for further details.


Better builders will also have their own quality control manager who will go through the property to check everything is to the builder’s own standards. Your bank will also send someone to the property to make the final valuation, and they will also check that the occupation certificate is in place before releasing the final payment.


The owner must ensure that the building works are insured from the date of practical completion.

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Make sure you have the occupation certificate, issued by the private certifier, in your handover documentation from the builder. Make sure your home insurance is in place the day you get the keys. Check through the documentation the builder gives you for their warranty, but also for all the warranties for the fixtures and fittings. All of the fixtures and fittings will have warranties with the relevant manufacturer rather than the builder.

Preparing to move

Connect your phone, utilities and internet. Make a plan for children and pets, and of course – change your address and setup mail forwarding!

So that you don’t miss anything in preparing to move, check out this article on realestate.com.au – 10 things to do before moving house.

Although these last steps of the process may seem tedious when you are excited to move into your dream home, they are a crucial to ensuring you are happy with the completed home, and that your house ticks all the boxes for a happy future for many years to come.

After you’ve moved in

If anything does happen to go wrong with the building itself, the Builder’s Home Warranty Insurance will cover structural defects for six years, and non-structural defects for two years. The builder is responsible for rectifying maintenance issues for three months, but not if the problem is caused by things like damage by removalists or during landscaping, or not clearing gutters.

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Get your landscaping completed, or at least get some turf down, as quickly as possible to reduce the dirt being tracked through your beautiful new house. Dirt quickly gets ground into new carpets, so a no-shoe policy in the house while the garden is unfinished , or some carpet protectors, will also save a lot of wear and tear on the new floors – especially if you have children. If you are landscaping yourself, make sure you check where drains and pipes are before digging, to prevent any damage.


By putting in place a program for maintenance, and keeping on top of it will not only keep your house tidy, it will also mean that you won’t risk voiding your warranties and your property’s value will stay strong. Clearing gutters regularly and booking an annual pest inspection can save a lot of trouble later on. Re-oiling decks will protect and maintain wood, and an annual clean of the exterior not only keeps your house looking great, it also prolongs the life of the paint. Taking the time to invest a little on regular maintenance will keep your home in the best shape possible for a lot longer.

Get in Touch

At Better Built Homes we are committed to building homes of superior quality and workmanship for families throughout Western Sydney. With a goal of exceeding our clients’ expectations every time, through teamwork and communication, we are confident we can do the same for you.

If you are ready to escape the grind, or upgrade into a contemporary home, get in touch by calling us on 1300 100 922 for a no obligation consultation, or by using our contact form and we’ll get the ball rolling.

Our office and showroom is located at:

Unit 21, 9-12 Lambridge Place,

Penrith, NSW

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