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Stupid question about paying builders

(4 Posts)
vbus Thu 29-Sep-11 13:27:48

Sorry if this is a very naive question but was curious about what your builders charges. We received a quote from our builder based on our building drawings and site review. Is this now what we will end up paying, or do they bill us for actual costs incurred whether it be higher or lower than that included in original quote? I'm slightly confused

I acknowledge some costs will be different if we vary from the plan from original drawings but we will discuss these variations and agree the price separately for those matters.


Pendeen Thu 29-Sep-11 16:05:46

It's very rare for any project to not have some changes however the mechanism for agreeing what is fair and reasonable must be clearly agreed before commencing work because, once they are on site it is very difficult to, in the event of any dispute over the cost, to employ someone else.

If the work is going to cost more than a mimimal amount it is worth using a recognised form of agreement which will help you establish the position as between you and your contractor.

An article you might find useful:

Solicitor's view

and the website for this particular contract (there are others available)

JCT Homeowner

ElbowFan Thu 29-Sep-11 17:31:08

I would not wish to disagree with Pendeen who clearly knows the legal stuff involved (as posts on other threads have shown), but I do rather wonder if in some ways it also depends on what you are having done.
If it is a small extension say, the detail in the drawings will give quite a lot of detail and a site review will have at least alerted the builder to any possible problems. If any have been identified, the cost will have been adjusted (upward) accordingly.
(Things to think about are electrical works or water where connection to existing systems is necessary, or works like tiling or flooring where choice of materials will have a huge impact on cost.)
It is not unreasonable to expect that the finished structure will be as per drawings and will cost just what was quoted.
If anything comes up during the building process, you should make sure that anything is cleared with you before anything is done which increases the cost so that you can explore the options.
Small builders doing minor works may be a bit daunted by a potential customer offering a JCT contract for building a garden wall.
The quote itself should give you a very good idea of what you should expect to be included in the cost.
The builder should be able to discuss the works, the time frame, and guarantee period. You will learn much from the response to your questions.
A large job is far more likely to have greater opportunity for increases in cost and will be far harder to keep in control without the strict guidelines that a formal contract will lay out in detail.
(You also need to feel confident in the builder as contract or no contract you're stuck if he goes bust.)

vbus Thu 29-Sep-11 19:50:50

Thanks both for your helpful replies and links. I am surprised as builder did originally talk about putting together payment plan, project timeline and cost variation schedule and somehow they've started work without having done any of this which is leaving me slightly bewildered. I'm going to speak to him tomorrow and address these topics otherwise I can see a few sticky situations arising which could potentially be avoided by following your advice. The last thing we want is costs spiralling out of control and disagreements taking place (worst case scenario!)

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