Are they a necessary evil or are they best avoided?
The client essentially has two choices in the manner in which the builder is
1. By exchange of letters.
2. Use of a standard form of Building Contract.
For most extensions, builders seem to be engaged by an exchange of letters
giving reference to the drawings and specification. The letters will also include for:-
a. The contract price.
b. Method and interval of payments.
c. Start date and contract duration.
d. Schedule of deviations from the drawings/specification (if any).
e. Liquidated damages (if required).
A standard building contract like the JCT Small works for example is available
and cover in detail most contractual obligations. However, they are fairly complicated for the novice and usually
require a Contract Administrator to act on the clients behalf although this is not essential. JCT have now
devised a simpler building contract aimed at the 'home owner/occupier' which is meant to be written in plain
English with tick boxes. It costs around £10.00 and is available from most High Street bookshops and
CHP's clients do not usually employ CHP to act as formal Contract Administrator
for reasons of cost savings. Should the client require this service then a fee can be quoted upon
However, CHP is usually available to the client during the construction process
to resolve any specific queries from either the client or their builder on an 'as and when basis'.