Falling out with builders

I have fallen out with my builder!!!

Congratulations! Welcome to the club. Don’t worry about it it’s a big club.

If you are involved in any form of property development or refurbishment for any length of time its inevitable that at some point you will fall out with your builder even ones you have known a long time and worked with before

Disputes with builders can usually be traced back to 2 main issues

The first main issue is money

It is vital that before work begins every single thing has been priced for and agreed

You also must make sure that in the event of any additional work you have made it clear to your builder that they must not proceed before agreeing it with you first

And it is absolutely essential that you agree payment terms before work begins. A lot of people are unsure if they should give their builder money up front

The issue of payments falls under the contract administration of the project. It may be an idea to use a Contract administrator for dealing with the payment side of the project. This will have several benefits. Firstly it means that an experienced professional will be involved to support you. Secondly it will take the personal element out of any disputes with your builder

The issue of money can produce very heated situations. As a result it can quite easily end up with your builder pulling off site and leaving you with a half finished project

The second main issue is miscommunication

You must be crystal clear that your builder knows exactly what he is supposed to be doing

It is your responsibility to make sure he has every single piece of information before he starts

This will include specification documents, drawings, quality standards, timelines and all technical details

If you haven’t given him all this its no good complaining that he is no good or has done things wrong

You will be investing considerable sums of money into your project. However, even if its your first project you must approach it in as professional a manner as possible

That’s why it’s a good idea to sign a contract with a builder. So if there is a dispute you can refer back to the contract

You should document all communications with your builder by email at the very least

It is no good agreeing everything like you are 2 friends with a handshake

You may find yourself in a situation where you have a half finished project and you are desperately scrambling around trying to find a replacement workforce with a looming deadline bearing down on you

Even worse you may have paid them more then you should have done for the work they have so far completed. And now you don’t have enough money to finish the job


If you need help with the contract administration side of your project please contact us and we will be happy to help. We have people who are experienced in contract management and dispute resolution










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