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Lock Up Stage: What It Means and Its Importance

The enclosed stage, or lock up stage, refers to the point in the build that the house can be visibly identified as a home. Most home owners start to get really excited about their build at this stage because what they can see looks like a completed home.  All the windows and external doors are installed, the external walls are finished with all fascias and soffits installed and the house can be effectively locked up. However, the build is only about half complete. To help increase your understanding of this important stage, and its larger context within the house building process, we will define this stage and describe the work typically completed before and after it.

Need to ensure each phase of construction is safe and devoid of errors? Contact ASBIR for high quality building stage inspections today! Get in touch with our experienced team by calling 1300 553 007 or email info@asbir.com.au to schedule an inspection.

Lock Up Stage Defined

Because there is a significant payment, usually about 25% of the contract price, due at this stage there needs to be a clear definition and understanding of what lock up is. This should be stated in your contract. (Along with the definitions of all the stages).

The definition as per the QBCC Domestic Contracts Act:  

“Enclosed stage, for a building, means the stage when:

(a) the external wall cladding is fixed; and

(b) the roof covering is fixed, but without

(i) soffit linings necessarily having been fixed; or

(ii) for a tile roof pointing necessarily having been done; or

(iii) for a metal roof scribing and final screwing off necessarily having been done; and

(c) the structural flooring is laid; and

(d) the external doors are fixed (even if only temporarily), but, if a lockable door separating the garage from the rest of the building has been fixed, without the garage doors necessarily having been fixed; and

(e) the external windows are fixed (even if only temporarily).”

Front door of house in the enclosed stage of consturction. | Featured image for the Lock Up Stage: What It Means and Its Importance blog from ASBIR.

Arriving at the enclosed stage is a momentous milestone in a house build. The house is now secure and watertight. Work can really start on the interior and your home is protected from the elements.

In addition to the elements, your home is also protected from vandals and thieves. It is now a lot safer to start putting in things like appliances and fixtures, which might at another time run the risk of being stolen. Don’t worry if your builder doesn’t install the appliances until Handover. He is just protecting your investment. Generally speaking, the builders’ insurance doesn’t cover the appliances until they are functional, additionally, your own contents insurance won’t begin until handover.

Work Following the Lock Up Stage

House being built and in the lock up stage of construction. | Featured image for the Lock Up Stage: What It Means and Its Importance blog from ASBIR.

Because your home is now lockable and protected from the weather, there will be an increase in the number of tradespeople able to work on site. Plumbers, electricians, cabinetmakers and tilers are just some of the people you may see on site as they work towards the fixing stage and practical completion beyond that. All the bits and pieces that make a house into a home will be installed – sinks, dishwashers, stoves, baths, power-points, lights, toilets taps and so much more.

Although you may not be able to see it because it’s installed before plaster boarding the ceiling & walls, at this stage your roof & wall insulation will be installed.

Arriving at the enclosed stage is a momentous milestone in a house build. The house is now secure and watertight. Work can really start on the interior and your home is protected from the elements.

In addition to the elements, your home is also protected from vandals and thieves. It is now a lot safer to start putting in things like appliances and fixtures, which might at another time run the risk of being stolen. Don’t worry if your builder doesn’t install the appliances until Handover. He is just protecting your investment. Generally speaking, the builders’ insurance doesn’t cover the appliances until they are functional, additionally, your own contents insurance won’t begin until handover.

Air Conditioning & Electrical

If you’ve chosen ducted air-conditioning, these units are usually mounted in the roof space. In some cases, units will be installed before the ceiling plaster boards are in place. However, most builders opt to install them later in the build to reduce the chance of theft.

Before the plastering stage, your electrician will “rough in” any required electrical components. This will see TV/telephone/data cables run to the fuse box but not connected for obvious safety reasons.

Waterproofing

Next comes the waterproofing. It’s important that all wet areas such as bathrooms, toilets, washrooms and laundries are waterproofed prior to tiles being laid. This stage is normally completed by a specialised contractor who will identify and waterproof any areas prone to large volumes of water.

Even though the house looks like your home, you are not entitled to a key yet. You will get your keys at handover.

Safeguard Your Home to Be

The lock up stage is an important milestone in a construction project, but it is important to remember it is not the final phase. Our building inspection services ensure the building process is proceeding as it should. Contact our skilled Brisbane building inspections team by dialling 1300 553 007 or emailing info@asbir.com.au now.

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