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Updated by TCPG The Consumer Protection Guarantee on Nov 25, 2017
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Contracts for Home Improvements. Are They Needed?

So you have decided to get some work carried out on your home and now you have to make a few other decisions regarding this. What other help and advice may you need?

1

Insurance Information

Insurance Information

Sometimes some companies will offer a whole package from start to finish. You may find an architect who can help you find a builder to carry out the work. However you personally need to make sure that the builder you choose has the insurance to cover his work. The professional selected should have some form insurance which covers for negligence which may lead to loss or defect.

Selecting a Builder

You can get quotes from a few different builders. It is your right to shop around. Ask to see some references and previous work. Don't always look at price. Check for insurance as mentioned above and ask for proof on this. Remember your home is your castle after all and you want the best tradesmen to work on it.

3

Contract

Contract

Once you have selected the appropriate builder, get a contract drawn up right from the start. Therefore you all know where you stand. Some builders will have their own contracts so be sure to read this through thoroughly. You need the details of both you and the builders, where the work will be carried out and the cost of the repair or building work. Beware of builders who will not enter into a contract.

4

Unforeseen Changes

Unforeseen Changes

Be mindful that there maybe other work which is not stated in the contract. Sometimes there are complications and extra work needs to be carried out. In this situation, get a price and add this either to the contract or have it put in writing for your records.

5

Start & Finish Deadline

Start & Finish Deadline

Any building work will cause some form of up evil, so try to have a deadline for the work to be carried out and agree to this with your builder and have the start and finish dates in your contract. This is helpful so you can claim for any damages if the work goes on for longer than the finish date.

6

Terminating a Contract

Terminating a Contract

This may occur so if either you or the builder wishes to terminate the contract, make sure you have an agreement before the work is started if the situation arises.

Sorting Out Disputes

Even though you have a contract this doesn't actually mean there will be no problems along the way. Things can go wrong and if they do communicate with the builder and make sure you always have written evidence for your records. Most problems can be resolved like this, don't let it get to a state where the work is stopped and the builder leaves the site.