Following Wangaratta Council's observation of a 10 per cent increase in building permit applications from 2016 to 2017, home building is predicted to increase over the next 12 to 18 months in Wangaratta.
An increase in home building often incorporates an increase in 'Do It Yourself' (DIY) building. For those handy men and women who are planning to take on a home build or renovation themselves, or help a friend or family member with theirs, each should be aware of the legal implications if they get injured in the process.
Building or renovating a home can be an exciting project but there are many opportunities for accidents, even when precautions are taken. Common examples include being injured when using power tools or falling from stools or ladders. Professional trades hired in their capacity as tradespeople to assist in home building have protection against loss of wages and medical costs if they get injured on the job in the form of workers' compensation insurance.
However you or your handy friend do not have the same protection if you get injured.
It is common to believe that if you become injured during a renovation that you are covered under either public liability or home and contents insurance. This is true, in part, however any insurance coverage will depend on the policy terms.
If it turns out that you are not covered, the injured person has to decide whether to seek compensation for loss of wages for time off work and medical expenses from the owner or occupier. Should the injury be permanent and has a prolonged impact on the injured person's life, costs to the party responsible for providing compensation can be greatly increased.
For this reason, if you are planning on undertaking a home build or renovation yourself, and are likely to enlist the help of friends or family, it is advisable to consider researching and taking out renovators or voluntary workers insurance. This can help ensure that if anything does go wrong, both your financials and personal relationships are protected.
If you have been injured during a home renovation and would like some legal advice with respect to your entitlements, please contact us on (03) 9321 9988.