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Do I Need a Contract for my Building Project?

(Image credit: stock.adobe.com)

Content supplied by JCT Home Contracts

Taking on a significant home improvement or building project can be an exciting time, but it’s also an expensive one. With so many trades involved at different times, it’s important to make sure everyone knows what’s expected, not just in terms of the scope and quality of work, but also costs and payment terms. This is where a contract can prove incredibly useful.

While it isn’t a legal requirement to use a contract, you’ll definitely be glad you did should something go wrong. 

Here are three essential reasons you should have a contract for your building project.

1. Protect Your Investment  

Using a contract is the best way to protect your investment. Whether you are renovating your home, adding an extension or converting your loft, a contract will prevent you from being lumbered with unexpected costs should things go wrong through no fault of your own.  

A contract will give you peace of mind during your home improvement project

A contract will give you peace of mind during your home improvement project (Image credit: stock.adobe.com)

A contract provides legal peace of mind to all involved and should make clear the expectations and responsibilities of both parties. But you don’t necessarily need to pay a solicitor to draw up the contract for you. 

Contracts like the homeowner contracts offered by JCT are easy to understand, avoid complicated legal jargon and are recognised and respected in the building industry. They can be purchased online and downloaded instantly.  

3. Detailing the Project

Especially useful if you are planning to act as your own project manager, you can use a contract to detail the scope and quality of work expected as well as work and payment schedules. It can also be helpful to include contingency plans in the contract - that way if any difficulties do arise, you’ve already agreed who should be responsible in resolving the issue.  

Having a contract can help you to effectively manage the project

Having a contract can help you to effectively manage the project (Image credit: stock.adobe.com)

 What Should the Contract Cover? 

  • the work to be done
  • the price and payment schedule
  • duration of the work
  • whose responsibility it is to obtain planning permission, if required
  • access trades will have on site
  • the homeowner's responsibilities
  • the tradesperson's responsibilities.

JCT Home Owner Contracts are downloadable PDFs so you can buy, download and start filling out a contract for your project today.

JCT is an independent organisation that represents all parts of the construction industry, and is the leading provider of standard forms of building contracts that cover most situations where building work is involved.