Who can use this homeowner contract?
A home owner or a builder.
What is this homeowner contract for?
It is suitable for a homeowner who wants to employ a builder for an extension or for improvement work to a house without having a consultant to oversee the work. This contract from the Joint Contracts Tribunal has the Plain English Crystal Mark for clarity. It is designed to protect the homeowner from problems during building works, renovations, and property improvement projects. It is a consumer contract for residential occupiers.
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. Read &/or download our free contract guidance for a homeowner here
If you have a consultant to oversee the work, you should use document JCT2 .
The JCT Home Owner Contracts are PDF documents which you can download save and email.
They are for use on desktop computers only and will not function on a mobile telephone or a tablet.
If you have a laptop that can be used as a tablet as well, the Contract will only function when it is in laptop mode.
JCT Home owner Contracts function with Windows 7 upwards and Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) or greater. However see instructions below if you are using an Apple Mac.
DOWNLOADING WITH ADOBE READER
To access your Contract you’ll need to have Adobe Acrobat XI or upwards installed on your computer.
The latest version of Adobe Reader Acrobat DC can be downloaded free from the Adobe website: https://get.adobe.com/reader/?loc=uk
Please note: Adobe Reader must be used to open your Contract. Downloading through other PDF readers will corrupt your Contract and you will be unable to use it.
Apple Macs in particular have default PDF reader Preview built in which will appear as the primary reader of PDFs. Please ensure you prompt the Contract to open in Adobe reader only. The latest version of Adobe Reader Acrobat DC can be downloaded free from the Adobe website: https://get.adobe.com/reader/?loc=uk
PLEASE NOTE: If you are using Windows 10 the contract will open by default in Windows Edge. To change the default from Windows Edge to Adobe please go to windows icon on the bottom left of the screen then go to setting – . “default apps” and change them to default to Adobe.
Once you have been through the checkout process, a download link will be emailed to you. Your invoice can be downloaded and printed from this email too. However you can also log into your account on our website and find these downloads there.
You will be sent a ZIP file which will contain the PDF Contract and these instructions. You do not need WINZIP to open this zip folder. Double click on the zipped folder and you will be taken to an unzipped folder. Click on this as you will see the documents.
Please note the Contract will feature a DRAFT watermark which will only disappear once the Contract is finalised (see below).
FILLING OUT THE CONTRACT
The JCT Home Owner Contracts are designed as editable PDFs. There are fields within the Contract which you will need to fill in on your computer.
If you would prefer a paper copy of the JCT Home Owner Contract that you can fill in manually, you can purchase this from the JCT website: https://www.jctltd.co.uk/category/home-owner-Contracts
PRINTING A DRAFT VERSION OF THE CONTRACT
If you wish to print and circulate a draft of the Contract prior to finalising it, you will need to complete Page 2 of the document fully without using abbreviations.
You will then need to tick the box on Page 6 to confirm that you are using the Contract for one project only, and then save the Contract on your computer.
Then click the Print Draft button to print the Contract with the watermark “DRAFT”.
When you have finalised the contents of the Contract and wish to print the final version, scroll to Page 6 and tick the “Final” box and this will remove the watermark and print. You will not be able to amend the document once this has been done.
- You can only use this Contract once, i.e. one Contract per Contractor
- Only you (the purchaser) can use the Contract. You cannot give it to a third party to use on another project.
- You may not delete, change or obscure any product identification or notices of proprietary rights and restrictions
- You may not delete, change or obscure the contact identifiers on a Contract
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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 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.
Contact your local authority’s planning and building control departments or view their website.