Thursday, 17 March 2016

What Should You Write in Your Contract with Builder?

You must always sign a written contract with your builder.

Never rely solely on the morale or good-will of people. You must verify every claim and not believing anything unless convincingly proven. I paid a very high price to learn this valuable lesson.

That's to support you as well as them and avoid misunderstandings and arguments.

1) Spec or Scope of Works

  • What needs to be done by the builder per room and for the whole house? E.g. rewiring, replumbing, reskiming, etc.
  • Detail as much as possible to avoid arguments later.

2) Materials
  • Who should buy them?
  • Who should pay for them?
  • Who should arrange them to be delivered?
3) Price

  • Price for labor?
  • Price for materials?
  • Price for each work?
  • Agree a fixed price for a fixed spec
  • In practice spec will always change no matter how detailed you plan or communicate it so leave room for that.
  • It's important to price each completed work because that determines how you must pay. You may also have to delegate some of the works to someone else.

Payment Plans:

Payments should not be based on time but based on a work delivered.

Set realistic weekly goals and only if those goals met, then pay.

Always keep the builder at least one week behind the payment.

Make it clear that any damages must be paid by builder.


Set a realistic deadline plus 10% contingency for the spec.
Along with penalty for every delayed day (e.g. £150 per day).
And some bonus to meeting the deadline (e.g. 5% so £500 if price is £10k).


If builder doesn't turn up to work.

If builder doesn't have have good progress in the reasonable opinion of the boss.

If builder doesn't meet the deadline.

If builder damages the property.

If builder causes harassments.

Changes to the Spec:

You may want to give some of part of the work to someone else if performance or quality not satisfactory.

That should be allowed and reserved within the contract.

Morning or Evening Daily Reports (5 minutes):
  • What builder has done yesterday?
  • What builder will do today?
  • Any obstacles or blockers need resolving?

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