This contract is in PDF format.
You will need an up-to-date version of Adobe Acrobat to use it.
After you download it, you can edit the PDF to a limited extent in the spaces identified for that purpose. Once you have made all the changes, you then lock the document so no further edits can be made. It is ready for signing.
Contents and Guidance for using this Contract:
Before you sign the contract
Specifications and drawings
Make sure you are both quite clear about which of you will produce specifications or drawings, if they are needed.
Clarify the arrangements for the work
Make sure that you and the builder have filled in all the details in Part 1 of the contract, which deals with the arrangements for the work. The builder must also fill in the Cancellation form at the back of the contract.
Conditions of the contract
Make sure you and the builder have read and understood the terms in Part 2 of the contract.
Builders sometimes ask customers to make payments in advance, before they do the work. Only consider making payments in advance for goods that need to be specially made off site before work can start on your home.
Paying in instalments
Should you agree to pay in instalments, these should relate to stages of the work, (for example, brickwork complete, plastering complete, roofing complete, alterations to ground floor) rather than timescales. Only stages that can be clearly defined should be used.
Find out about the adjudication scheme referred to within the contract
Details of the adjudication scheme are within the contract itself, available at www.jctcontracts.com and from the organisations running the scheme.
Adjudication is a fast and relatively cheap way of settling disputes. The adjudicator's decision will be binding unless you or the builder challenge it in court. (If the adjudicator's decision is challenged in a court you may have to pay other costs.)
Before the work starts
Right to cancel
You can cancel the contract within 7 days of signing it. There is a cancellation form at the back of the contract.
Tell your insurers about the building work
If you have buildings or contents insurance, make sure you inform your insurers. If you do not tell your insurers, they may not pay out if you make a claim.
Check your builder has insurance
You should ask the builder to confirm that he has insurance cover before starting the work. To keep to the contract, the builder must have insurance to cover the building work, the materials on site for the work, and his ‘public liability to persons and property’ (cover against injuries to people and damage to property).
Keeping within building regulations and the law
The builder must keep to building regulations and health and safety laws. If the customer has any concerns, he should discuss these with the builder.
If the builder does not keep to the relevant local authority's building approvals, and the builder cannot put the matter right, the local authority will hold you responsible.
Once the work is underway
Give details of any changes to the work in writing
If you need to give instructions on a change to the work, or to tell the builder about any faults in the work, give details in writing.
And if a dispute should arise
If you have any disagreements while the work is being done, first try to sort them out between you before considering going to adjudication or to the courts.