How to Sign a Contract with a Builder or Tradesmen!

publication date: Jun 15, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

It’s essential to make sure that you have an agreement in writing with any builder or tradesmen, before they carry out any work. Otherwise, if you don’t have this document and pay them money or the job goes wrong and it costs you to fix it, you have little or no recourse against the builder or tradesmen.

What needs to be in a Contract?
Over and above this you MUST have a contract between you. This doesn’t have to be complicated and could be as little as a piece of paper which states:-

1. Yours and their company details.

2. Detailed description of the job the builder or tradesman is doing.

3. What insurance policies the builder holds, and attach a copy of the documents to ensure they are up to date.

4. Who orders, pays for and replaces any materials and tools or machinery on site.

5. Start and finish dates for the job and any penalties should it run over time due to errors/problems from the builder or tradesmen.

6. An agreed payment schedule.

7. Who is responsible for adhering to any plans, building regulations or any other rules and regulations required.

8.  Whether you or the builder is required to pay third party tradesmen, for example, brick layers or electricians.

9. Agree an amount to withhold after the job is completed and a time period, such as a month off, that it can be reasonably kept for to ensure that everything has been done to a high standard.
10. A procedure that either party agrees to follow if there is a dispute?

For more information on contracts visit The Federation of Master Builders, or contact us if you wish for us to look at a contract you have drawn up or have received by a builder and/or tradesman.

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