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Top Tips for Building Contracts

 

From a complete build to a new porch whatever your building project there is going to be some measure of hassle and upset; it is the nature of the beast but careful planning and preparation can reduce the aggravation and stress.

One of the more regular problems we encounter is problems and issues with the building contractor so before a sod is turned, a brink laid or a nail hammered you need to drill down in to your agreement with them.

Here are our top tips to make sure you get the build you agreed at the price you agreed.

1.      Put everything in writing. Everything means everything. If you have a meeting with your builder and variations or additions to your contract are agreed, follow this up with an email or text which sets everything out. If a dispute were later to arise and not everything was written down, then it would be the job of the Court to find as a matter of fact who to believe – this is determined by looking at the contemporary evidence, witness statements and cross examination. Many barristers pride themselves on their ability to successfully undermined another parties case, if you have contemporary written evidence supporting your case, the chances of them being able to do that are greatly diminished.

2.      Check whether the builder has insurance. This will give you reassurance should any issues arise later on.

3.      Be clear on price. Many builders give estimates or quotes for the work. It is important to establish whether the price given is a fixed price or an estimate. If it is an estimate you may want to get the builder to give a more accurate quote or an estimate of what other work they foresee with the project so that you can budget accordingly.

4.      Be clear on the scope of the works. This is easily achievable by having everything set out in a written contract. However, if you do agree things verbally, make sure that it is very clear what you have asked for, otherwise you may get a lot more (and pay a lot more) than you bargained for.

5.      Know your rights. Getting advice early is important. If you are unsure as to your rights, are in dispute with a builder, or are having problems with a new build property, then get in touch with Robert Blair at Robert.blair@cohencramer.co.uk or call 0113 224 7823.

7th August 2018

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1 Comment

  1. Nasir sajjad
    October 15, 2018

    I have a dispute with a builder who is renovating my house and has stopped as he us asking for more money. I won’t give it to him as I have paid according to the work schedule and we have a contract on price. He walked away in June, without telling me why and then said it was for money I owed him for extra work. He actually went to another job. He started again in September and again walked off when I refused to give him money as he still hasn’t caught up to the amount I paid him. He suggested we get a quantity surveyor to arbitrate, which I did and the report is due today but from the information he has given already, it seems that I am right and I have overpaid him or he owes me work. I plan to new him again to suggest a way forward but if he walks away then I need to know how I stand legally.

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