Suitable for a homeowner who wants to employ a builder, this contract from the Joint Contracts Tribunal has the Plain English Crystal Mark for clarity and is designed to protect the homeowner from problems during building works, renovations, and property improvement projects.
Having a contract in place with your builder is an essential part of planning your home improvement project and provides the peace of mind of legal protection.
Formally agreeing the arrangements and terms with your builder using JCT Homeowner Contracts, and following them thoroughly, means key aspects of your home renovation project are carefully considered and you can look forward to a successful outcome to your project.
The following details should help you use the JCT Homeowner Contracts. If you need any other information please view our JCT Problem Solving Document.
I don’t have the software to open the contract PDF
You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free here. Do not use other readers which can corrupt your file as the functionality was only designed for Adobe Acrobat Reader. Any customer with Apple software must download Adobe even if they have Preview and prompt the contract to open in Adobe Reader as Preview is usually the default reader on a Mac.
I have downloaded the contract but I can’t open it
Check that you have the latest version of Adobe® Reader® installed correctly.
It must be Adobe® Reader® version 8.0.0 or later. You can download the latest version of Adobe® Reader® from the Adobe website here.
Can I use the contract more than once?
No, you can only use the contract for one transaction, i.e. for one builder and one job.
Our terms and conditions strictly prevent you from using the contract for more than the number of purchased uses. Only you, the purchaser, can use the contract. You may not give the contract to anyone else.
Can I use the contract for anything else?
This contract is designed for use by the private consumer engaging a builder. It is not suitable for other purposes.
How do I start using the contract?
Download the PDF and save it to a location on your PC. Then key in the information in the required fields for your project. A minimum requirement is you must fill in the Customer and Contractor’s names and addresses in order to print your contract. You will not be able to print a blank contract.
If you do not fill in the Customer and Contractor’s names and addresses you will receive a warning message that this needs to be done.
How do I print a draft contract?
Please complete the customer and contractor’s names and addresses on page 2 of the contract. Then scroll to page 6 and click the checkbox acknowledging use of the template for 1 contract. Click Save Form and then Print Draft Form.
How do I print a final contract?
When you have filled in your contract scroll to page 6 and save the form. Then click print final form which will remove the watermark, lock your document after which no further changes can be made. You will print out a customer copy and a contractor copy.
This contract is in PDF format.
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 installments
Should you agree to pay in installments, 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.
Contact your local authority’s planning and building control departments or view their website.
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