Why you should have a contract with your builder

Matthew Charlton's avatar

Matthew Charlton | 20/11/18

Although not a legal requirement, here at Upright we believe that it is imperative to have a contract for any building project .

There are 3 main areas the contract should cover:

Price – It should state if the price is fixed, an estimate or budget.  It could be that there are elements of the job which until the job has started a fixed price is unavailable; however, at the least an indication of price should be provided.  Other variables could be a value change to the overall project, this could occur if there is an unavoidable delay which could result in the builder being on site for longer.

The price section of the contract will also need to cover when payment is made, i.e. in one payment at the end of the project or in stages throughout.

Programme – A defined start which can be secured once a deposit for the job has been received and a finish date should be provided.  The programme should clearly state the stages of the build and when you as the homeowner are required to undertake any steps to keep the build on track, this could be an action as simple as ensuring all areas are cleared before work commences.

Scope/Quality of Work – Clarity should be provided on the exact extent of the work that is covered, ownership of materials and the quality of the products included.

It may be that the homeowner would wish to upgrade certain elements of the project e.g. light fittings or that an alteration is required to the build.  If these scenarios occur the alterations must be provided in writing and added to the agreed contract.

An additional area that should be covered within the contract is a clear defect retention period.  Signs of settlement are inevitable, especially when undertaking a home extension or new home build project; however, can also become evident within home renovation projects depending on the scale of the project.  Further areas covered within the contract should be: termination, damages, insurance and contract suspension.

If you’re looking to undertake a home renovation, house extension, new build or loft conversion project click here to view some examples of our recent work.  Alternatively contact a member of our team on 01737 245040 who will be more than happy to discuss your project with you.

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