Why you should use a contract on a refurbishment project

Why You Should Use A Contract On Your Refurb Project

There are many benefits of using a contract on a refurbishment project. It is going to be your best form of protection against many things. You will be glad you signed one if you find you have fallen out with your builder

What are the most commonly used contracts?

The most commonly used contracts on residential refurbishment projects will be from the JCT. These are not to be confused with NEC 3 contracts which are widely used in other areas of the construction industry. JCT contracts are ones which all reputable builders will be familiar with. They come in several different formats so make sure to use the one most suitable for your project. You may choose a standard building contract with or without quantities, a lump sum contract, a cost plus one , a minor works or intermediate contract amongst others

What are the advantages of using a contract?

All Quantity Surveyors, Architects, Project Managers and Consultants will be familiar with them. The advantage of using a contract is that before work starts both the client and their representatives and the builder will be in no doubt as to what has been agreed. It will state clearly the responsibilities of both parties and will outline the schedule of payments. It will have a mechanism for dispute resolution, in the form of either arbitration, mediation or adjudication.

You are asking for trouble if you just verbally agree things with your builder or just do everything by email. Disputes once the project has started can lead to many problems. Either extra costs, hold ups or the builder walking off leaving you with a half finished project



JCT contracts can be purchased as a hard copy or digital version. The digital version can be amended until both parties are happy with it. If you are using individual contractors and the sums of money are relatively small it may not be necessary to use a contract. But anything more then a few thousand and it definitely is a good idea to use one as it will give you peace of mind

It is quite common for the client to employ a 3rd party as the Contract Administrator. This may be the Architect or consultant you are using or a Quantity Surveyor. The advantage of using a Contract Administrator is it avoids things getting personal with the builder in the event of any disputes

Are JCT the only type of contracts?

No. There are others that are used . The First type is a RIBA contract from the Royal Institute of British Architects. These are well known in the industry and are quite often suggested for use by Architects. You can find out more about them here . The other type come from the  Federation of Master Builders. Any contractor who is a member will usually suggest using one of those. You can read more information about them here FMB

What happens if the builder doesn’t want to sign a contract?

If a builder doesn’t want to sign up to a contract that should raise a red flag. A contract provides protection for the builder as well as the client. No reputable builder should have any problem with signing a contract. If you start a project without signing a contract you are completely unprotected. When you send out your tender documents you should state that a signed contract will be required on this project. Once you have worked with a builder and built up some trust with them you may feel that signing a contract may not be neccessary. However, this is never advised no matter how good your relationship has become. You can find out more about JCT contracts here: JCT Contracts


Helping people with contracts is one of the many services  we offer. Please contact us here  to see how we can help you with your project











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