Continuing our Commercial Project Roadmap Journey: Step 10

Jul 26, 2023 | Commercial and Industrial

Last month, on our Commercial Project journey, we considered how to stay on top of things once construction starts.

This month, we’re moving on to Step 10 on our ‘Roadmap to success’ for commercial projects.



You will soon receive an invoice for work completed. You may have even received one already. We have collated the following tips to guide you and hopefully reduce any chance of error in managing your budget.

Keep your own records

Even the best builders are human, so don’t just leave the finances up to them — keep your own records too. Keep track of interim deadlines, such as dates for:

  • payment of your initial deposit;
  • payment of progress claims;
  • final practical completion;
  • payment of your final retention payment; and
  • expiry of warranties (i.e., defects liability and any other warranties).

Keep track

Put together a simple spreadsheet where you can track:

  • the overall contract price;
  • the date and amount of payments made along the way; and
  • any variations made to the contract price.

Things will be easier for you in the long run if you keep the spreadsheet up to date and revisit it regularly.

Know the payment terms

Make sure you are fully across the payment terms under your contract. If you’ve down your groundwork up front, your contract should be clear on what can be claimed and when. Often, the terms for progress claim payments can differ from the terms of final payments.

Inspect the works

Before paying an invoice, inspect the works yourself or, if you don’t feel confident in doing so, hire someone to do it for you. There are plenty of companies that specialise in these inspections.

A word of warning, though — if you decide to outsource, be careful not to slow down the payment process beyond the time within which payment is required under your contract.

Don’t overpay

Never overpay for works completed. Each invoice you receive should detail exactly what the claim is for.

If the builder is claiming based on certain goals being achieved, these goals (or stages) will be detailed in the contract. Only pay when you are comfortable that they have in fact been achieved.

If the claim is based on work completed at a certain date, ensure the builder has provided a detailed explanation of those works, including the associated completion percentage.

Communication is key

If something is not as expected when you receive a payment claim, or at any point along the way, let your builder know sooner rather than later. There are time limits within which you must let your builder know of any identified issues.

Timely communication benefits both you and your builder. Many builders are small businesses and rely heavily on payments being made on time. Talk about any issues quickly, clearly and respectfully. Delaying payments without clear communication is a sure-fire way to quickly turn a good project sour.

Once you’ve worked your way through the various stages of building and payments, you’re nearly there but your journey’s not quite done yet. In our next blog, we’ll cover those bits and pieces that need to be addressed once physical construction has finished.

If you’d like clarification of any of the contents of this blog or your project, feel free to reach out. You can find us at:

Head Office (AU)
7/121 Newmarket Road
Windsor QLD 4030
1300 267 333

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