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Did you have a formal contract with your builders?

(12 Posts)
SureStartRedemption Tue 20-Dec-16 00:08:45

If you have a JCT contract does it need to be managed by someone e.g. an architect?
If you didn't have a contract how did you manage the project? Being invoiced and then paying?


Tatey25 Tue 20-Dec-16 17:55:12

You can have a jCT contract with your builder. You don't need to be an Architect to administer it. Anyone can.
Don't just pay your builder's invoices without some form of performance and payment agreement. Good luck.

FlatLover34 Tue 20-Dec-16 20:31:36


If you are having only minor building works, a payment schedule should be enough. E.g. you can divide the works into stages and pay a percentage at the end of each stage. (That's how we did it)It is essential to get a detailed scope of works from the builders before they start so you can always check what has been done and pay accordingly.

Hope this helps smile

SureStartRedemption Tue 20-Dec-16 22:04:43

Thanks both.
Flatlover - I think that is what our builder was suggesting. How minor is minor. Would you have a figure in mind over which you would want a more formal contract?

Tate - thanks for that. Does a JCT contract have to be administered by a third party though - even if it's not our architect?

Tatey25 Tue 20-Dec-16 23:48:19

No, you can simply buy a domestic JCT contract online and fill in the blanks using a pen. As long as both parties agree, just sign it and that's it - you should have a contract! Good luck

johnd2 Wed 21-Dec-16 22:51:45

We used a ribs contract recommended by the architect, I'd say it's essential because their will be disagreements later about extras.
The fundamentally important things in the contract are exactly what they will do down to ridiculous detail, and how much you will pay. If it's not on the drawings or spec it will be an extra and you will end up doing without or facing a demand for extras money which may not be competitive.
Good luck with your project!

johnd2 Wed 21-Dec-16 22:52:10

Stupid auto correct... Should be RIBA contract not ribs

johnd2 Wed 21-Dec-16 22:54:23

Oh, and make sure the contract States that all extras must be agreed in writing together with a quote before commencement, otherwise they can do work based on an off hand conversation that you assume is included and then later it's suddenly an expensive extra that's too late to decline.

SureStartRedemption Thu 22-Dec-16 07:38:26

Thanks Johnd. I will look into the RIBA contract too. I remember falling foul of the extras thing with our old builder although I think he was fair with his pricing of things we were a bit annoyed some things weren't 'included'.

Tatey25 Thu 29-Dec-16 01:46:56

Having a contract that states that all extras should be in writing is a must, as already said. However, once you are in contract your contractor knows that your not going anywhere else when it comes to variations or extras throughout the project; and therefore there is nothing to stop them submitting overpriced quotes. One way round this is to ask your contractor to submit his fixed price for the main works in the format of a bill or quantities (BoQ), thereby giving you visibility of unit rates for each element of works. The BoQ's then act as a forward visibility pricing mechanism for any variations or extras throughout the contract period. Your contract must also state that the main BoQ's submitted at tender will be the basis for pricing any variations/extras.

johnd2 Thu 29-Dec-16 10:29:32

You might struggle to get detailed pricing - our tender requested a full breakdown of pricing into elements, and only one did that (and they were extremely expensive)
The problem with the one we used is he also implied some things were free and then suddenly said they were extras at a cost.
In the end the architect and structural engineer can give a counter argument to the cost, but generally you don't want to get into that situation.
Although not sure how you would avoid it really, although our extras so far are about 5%, which I suppose is better than it could be.

Tatey25 Fri 30-Dec-16 22:22:33

To avoid any dispute with what's included or excluded, the contractor should price to a detailed specification, produced by your Architect, which is then referenced in the building contract. If you don't have a specification, ask your builder to produce a set of contractors proposals, this is a detailed description of what's included for the price. This can then be appended to the building contract.
I would still recommend a BoQ's to protect you against variation pricing etc. A decent builder would normally produce a quotation in this format. BW

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