When you’re embarking on a building or renovation project, a handshake just isn’t enough.
Unfortunately, too many homeowners are afraid of offending their builders by asking for a home-building contract. And the results aren’t always too pretty.
But at Combit Construction, specialist builders in North London, we believe that signed builders contracts are essential, even for the smallest project. Regardless of the scope of works being undertaken, it’s important that a formal agreement is in place before you get the ball rolling, and here’s why:
It’s not about creating an ‘us and them’ situation. The whole point of a building contract is to protect both you and your builder from any comeback and provide a reference point should any point be disputed during your build.
1. SCOPE OF WORKS
Your contract should set the scope of works to be covered, i.e., every stage of your build/renovation from start to finish.
The more detailed your quotation is, the better: from initial demolition through to project completion, your agreement shouldn’t have any ‘grey’ areas. Don’t settle for any uncertainties or ballpark figures.
2. PRICE AND PAYMENT
Your contract should state the agreed price and payment terms of your project. If your works require progress payments, these should be clearly set out and fall due with the completion of each stage, not ahead of it.
Any changes to the price caused by plan alterations or unforeseen issues should be set out in writing and agreed to by both parties.
3. START AND FINISH DATE
It’s important to ensure that your builders contracts detail the proposed start and completion dates of your projects. Having set and agreed dates will help to ensure that your projects don’t drag on indefinitely and give you (the homeowner) a basis to claim for compensation should the works not be completed by the due date.
Your builder is legally responsible for any building defects which may become apparent for a given time, generally several years. Having a signed contract will ensure that you are covered for any warranty or defect issues that may arise during this period.
5. WORKS ON SITE
It’s important to ensure that all works undertaken on your property are conducted in accordance with national safety standards and procedures. Your contract should cover basic safety rules and working hours.
6. UNEXPECTED DELAYS
Sometimes the unexpected happens – delays with materials, bad weather, sickness… your contract should set out the procedure by which you and your builder can work together to overcome any unforeseen challenges which may arise.
7. CHANGES TO ORIGINAL PLANS
If you require alterations to the works being undertaken, this will undoubtedly require extra time and cost. Good builders’ contracts will allow for the builder to quote on the changes required and allow both parties to agree on them in writing before these changes are carried out.
8. COVID-19 CLAUSE
With the current Covid-19 crisis in Britain, it’s wise to have a clause in your contract to protect both parties. It’s essential for all involved in the project to adhere to current government regulations and have Covid-safe practices in place.
At Combit Construction, we understand builder’s contracts and we have everything in place to ensure an enjoyable and successful building experience.
Our team has the experience and practical skills to ensure that your renovation is completed to the highest standards, on time and within budget.