Do I need a Building Contract?

Yes, you do!

We would always recommend the use of a Building Contract when your project is about to move onto site to the Construction stage. To take a step back a stage, when you are obtaining prices from your selection of builders, you should let them know at the tender stage that you are intending to use a Building Contract.

A Building Contract is a written agreement between a Client and a Contractor. It sets out the terms and conditions of the services and includes the costs, time scales and the scope of the works associated with the building project. It covers the responsibilities of the Contractor and the Client within the construction process. In simple terms, the Contract is in place, so it is clear as to what work needs to be done, who is doing it, when are they doing it by, and for how much.

There are several different Building Contracts available, ready written and available to suit many types and sizes of Building Project.

Homeowner contracts

For all our Homeowner Clients who are planning to undertake work to their own homes, we would always recommend the use of a specific Homeowner Contract.

A Homeowner Client is generally undertaking work to their own home in a non-commercial manner. Therefore, they can be considered as ‘Consumers’ and as such, are protected under the Consumer Rights Act and Consumer Contracts Regulations. A specific Homeowner Building Contract is written in such a way as to protect homeowner clients as Consumers.

There are two forms of ‘Consumer’ Building Contract, specifically written for Domestic building projects.


  • The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Building Contract for a Homeowner/Occupier, and
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Domestic Building Contract

The JCT Homeowner Contract has two versions depending on if you are embarking on your building project with an Architect as Contract Administrator, or if you are going it alone with your Builder.

The Contracts are available to buy from Amazon, RIBA Bookshops or direct from JCT. They come in duplicate, so you can keep hold of a copy and give your builder the other one. They are in simple plain language and are easy to fill in.

There is a more in-depth article on Building Contracts from RIBA HERE

JCT have written some information about their homeowner contracts HERE

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