Make sure that you and your builder are covered by a nationally recognised contract

With every building project, it is important to have a legally binding contract. A contract can even be verbal although the absence of anything on paper could run the risk of either side denying that something has been agreed. Having this scenario may or may not work in your favour.

For security and clarity, it is probably better to have a formal contract which lets everyone know where they stand, and forms ‘the intentions of the parties’. In a dispute situation a Judge would form a decision based on what they think was likely that the parties had intended.

It’s also good to cover the “what ifs” in a contract. So as well as detailing the relationship between the parties and what the building(s) comprises, it could include “if I change my mind as a client, this is what happens next,” and also circumstances that might be forced on a client such as ground conditions, weather and insolvency. The contract can state “this is what’s going to happen if these future events happen.”

The chosen contract will also depend on the type of contractor you’re dealing with and the nature of the contractual relationship. One overall project contract might be appropriate if you’re handing everything over to the contractor to deal with, whereas something else would be required if you’re project managing yourself and employing trade contractors.

As a Quantity Surveyor, we are familiar with the relevant processes, legal terminology and processes to ensuring that you have a contract in place that protects you and your project. We support clients with their contracts on a day to day basis and whatever the size of project, this helps you ultimately make your projects a success!

Clients we’ve worked for