The Institution of Structural Engineers
David Ryland
I.Eng. A.M.I.Struct.E.
Structural Engineer
TRADA member

Limited Guidance Notes on Extensions

Section E - Your contract with the builder

1. You may be asked to enter into a formal contract by your builder. If this is the case and you do not understand the terms or conditions, seek advice before signing.
2. If you do not have a formal contract, you should write to your builder asking for his written terms and conditions before you instruct him.

3. Always obtain a 'firm quotation' and not an 'Estimate', which may be varied later for 'unforeseen additional work'.

4. Ask for a programme of work and a final completion date, in writing. Advise your builder that you expect the work to be completed to the programme and that you will only accept delays for reasonable reasons such as inclement weather.

5. Make certain that your builder is not intending to sub let the contract to another builder who may not be as competent. He may reasonably wish to use other specialists to do sections of the work, such as a roofer or an electrician, but you should make it clear that you expect him to warrantee this work as if it were his own.

6. Agree stage payments for the work as it proceeds. Only make such payments if he has completed that amount of work satisfactorily.

7. Overall, retain about five percent of the full amount until full completion and until you are satisfied that the builder has rectified small 'snagging' items to your satisfaction.

8. If work is not done satisfactorily, it may be within your rights to demand that it is corrected to your satisfaction. If not you may be able to withhold payment or to get the work put right by another builder and deduct the cost from the original quotation.

9. Your builder should advise you of any intended substitution of named building materials or manufacturers of items such as lintel beams and blockwork. If in doubt about what may be being used consult the Building Control Officer or David Ryland.

10. If you ask the builder to vary the work, or carry out additional work, make sure that you are given a firm written quotation for this before it is done. Ask what affect this may have on the programme and confirm these back to the builder in writing.
11. Your builder may require a lump sum 'up front' to enable him to purchase building materials such as bricks or blockwork. This is usual practice. If concerned about the amount discuss with the builder the breakdown before paying it.

Contact details:
Tel: 01953 853040
Mobile: 07802 183823

 Guidance Notes on Extensions 

 Permitted Development 
 Planning Permission 
 Building Control 
 Foundation Engineering 
 The Builder 

Sample drawings
Planning:   Drawing1   Drawing2 
   Drawing3   Drawing4 
Building Control:   Drawing1   Drawing2