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Drawing up contracts

When you employ people to work on your project, it’s wise to put the agreement in writing so that everyone knows what’s involved. Here Tim Doherty takes a closer look at what to include in a contract

When you reach an agreement with a building contractor for works on your property, it’s deemed as a contract, even if it’s just verbal and there’s nothing in writing. For instance, you might engage someone to cut your hedge but you’re unlikely to put it in writing, even though you’ll have agreed the hedge in question, how much is to be taken off, when it will happen and how much you’ll pay them.

Employing someone to work on your home construction project is no different to this, in principle. Of course, the scope of works is likely to be more complex, take longer, could involve arranging material supply and payment might need to be in phases. Typically, you’ll approach trades (if needed) by phone, text or email, leading to a meeting on site and quite possibly an exchange of documents. You’ll define the work needed, when it will start, how long it will take to finish, any specific quality issues, how much it’s going to cost and when you are going to make payment.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Renovating floors in a period home - Rainwater goods cost guide - Choosing the right smart home security systems - Could an architect save you money?