Complaint/Issue against a builder



If you are unhappy with a service provided by a member of Master Builders SA, such as a builder or a tradesperson you must first raise your concerns directly with them. In the majority of cases, this will resolve the issue. In the event that it doesn’t, then we may be able to help. However, Master Builders is not an investigation or enforcement authority. Upon receipt of a complaint, we would contact the member and advise them in line with our Code of Ethics and encourage them to work with you to resolve the matter.

The Building and Construction Industry is currently facing extreme shortages in trades and a number of key supplies including timber, insulation and gyprock. These shortages may result in delays to building timeframes and completion dates that are out of the control of the builder.

Do not lodge a complaint if you:

  • Have not discussed the issue with the builder first
  • Are not a current or past customer of a current member of the Master Builders Association
  • Have a building issue that relates to a contract for which practical completion was granted more than 5 years ago
  • Are a neighbour or other third party wishing to complain about the conduct on site of subcontractors or other people involved in the building process. Go to council, police or EPA
  • Have a concern about the safety of a person on site due to alleged breaches of the Work Health Safety Laws – contact SafeWork SA
  • Have a dispute around variations to a contract – use the dispute conciliation process if it relates to a member
  • If you are alleging “loss” as a result of alleged breach of contract / actions of the builder. You need to seek legal advice and Master Builders will not participate in that dialogue.

Master Builders is very limited in the actions it can take in relation to any complaint. Due to resourcing, you may not receive a response from some time so a complaint to Master Builders should be the last resort if you have not had any luck getting in contact with your builder or through appropriate channels, such as Consumer and Business Services. Master Builders will not respond to complaints of a vexatious nature or for issues stated above. Repeated entries of the same complaint will be ignored.


Describe the details of your complaint clearly, gather together any documents or other evidence that relates to the complaint.  For example contracts, quotes, photographs as well as dates and times.

It is important to consider what you would like to happen after you have raised the complaint and be prepared to consider all options /outcomes that may be proposed and negotiate accordingly.


As suggested, it is important to raise your concerns directly with them, this could be via email, phone or letter and again, explain the issue clearly and what you would like to happen. If you are making a complaint about the phone, and you are not happy with the initial response please ask to speak with a supervisor.


Always make a note of conversations and keep copies of replies to emails or letters. If you have tried to resolve the matter directly with the member of Master Builders SA and you are still not satisfied then you may lodge your complaint with:


If you have used a Master Builders SA contract, and you wish to instigate the ‘Dispute Conciliation’ clause or ‘Arbitration’ clause under the contract terms, then please complete the Dispute Conciliation Process Form to start the process.

The fee payable for the “Dispute Conciliation Preliminary Meeting” is set out in the Contract. Note that the legal practitioner / facilitator for conciliation process (and arbitration where necessary) will charge parties at the hourly rate directly, and the payment for the process will need to be agreed in writing by each party before going down the path of the conciliation process.

Master Builders cannot assist with contracts that are not issued by the Master Builders Association