Short Form of Trade Contract (B153)

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Who can use this contract?

Anyone who wants a simple agreement appointing builder or tradesman to undertake work can make use of this Short Form of Trade Contract template.

What is this contract for?

This Trade Contract is a user-friendly agreement in the form of letter.  All the main essentials of a construction contract are present in the 18 paragraphs of the letter.  It was designed primarily for a self-builder or homeowner, but it can be used more widely by any company or organisation wanting something simple but effective when appointing a jobbing builder or trade contractor – roofer, bricklayer, etc.

What are the main issues?

As with most contracts, the two most important issues are an effective and comprehensive description of the work to be carried out plus an agreed price and payment terms.

For a contract involving building or engineering work, other issues include:

Timing – start date and duration. In a building contract there may also be a penalty (“liquidated damages”) for the contractor if he fails to meet an agreed completion date.

General obligations: these include compliance with client instructions, regular progress, health and safety compliance etc.

Change and delay. The contract needs a system whereby any change is priced before it is commenced.  Also, the contractor should be required to notify the client of any potential delay outside his control. The client will then decide whether to extend the completion date.

Liability and insurance. The contractor will be liable to make good loss or damage that he causes. He should also have adequate insurance in place. A requirement for the contractor to remedy any defect that after the work handed over should also be included.

What detailed terms does the contract contain?

The main points cover:

  • works
  • start date and duration
  • general obligations
  • goods and materials
  • site access and activities
  • the contract price
  • payment
  • acceptability
  • change
  • delay
  • completion and defects period
  • insurance and liability
  • ownership and risk
  • termination
  • suspension
  • subletting and assignment
  • notices
  • disputes

The contract is designed for use for a self-build project with a jobbing builder or trade contractor – roofer, bricklayer, etc.

The letter is accompanied by an Appendix and Schedule.

For a more comprehensive and formal contract when a contractor is carrying out the main work of building a house and employing subcontractors, B152 (Building Contract) is recommended.

For guidance on issues that need to be considered in the contracts for a building project, see our free document Guidance Notes for a Home Builder, Z165.

For more information on each of these sections, see our Explanatory Notes below which you will also receive when you download the document from our website.

For information on signing documents see our Contract Signing page

When I download the document, can I change it and/or use it more than once?

Yes, all ContractStore’s templates are in MS Word and you can use the contract on more than one project. For more information, watch the video on this page of our website or see our FAQs

Legal support

ContractStore supplies templates and is not a law firm.  But experienced lawyers write all our templates, so we can arrange legal assistance for customers who need special terms in one of our documents or a bespoke template. . For more information see our Legal Services page.  For more information see our Legal Services page.

Contract Author – Giles Dixon

And if you want to contact us see our Contacts page.

 

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Explanatory Notes

This Trade Contract is a user-friendly agreement in the form of letter under which a house owner or self builder appoints a contractor for certain works.  All the main essentials of a construction contract are present in the 18 paragraphs of the letter. They cover price, duration, regulations, quality, inspection, completion, changes, delay, insurance, claims etc.  The contract is designed for use with a jobbing builder or trade contractor –roofer, bricklayer, etc.

The letter is accompanied by an Appendix and Schedule.  The Appendix is a one page document with some contract-specific details such as the start date, completion date, insurance requirements, etc.  The Schedule should include details of the work to be carried out in Part 1, the contract price including details of how it is made up in Part 2 and a payment schedule in Part 3.

Once the terms are accepted and the Contractor signs and returns the duplicate letter, a binding contract comes into effect.  This approach is just as effective, but with less obvious formality, than a document which is prepared in the more traditional way, with a Form of Agreement, Conditions of Contract etc.

The text is reasonably self-explanatory and does not need detailed notes.  The Schedules need to be completed in detail and we have in Schedule 2 given some ideas/examples of price and payment details.

For a more comprehensive and formal contract when a contractor is carrying out the main work of building a house and employing subcontractors, form B152 Building Contract is recommended.

For general guidance on issues that need to be considered in the contracts for a building project, see our free document Guidance Notes for a Home Builder Z165