What to know before you start digging a hole

A residential owner’s guide to construction works

This guide provides a brief, general overview of various aspects of construction projects which are often faced by residential occupiers. For more detailed information and advice, it is strongly recommended that you seek professional legal advice before starting any construction work or agreeing any contracts or appointments

Why do I need a written building contract?

What type of building contract should I use? I’m being told that the JCT Minor Works will be good.

Why shouldn’t I use the architect’s or engineer’s standard form appointment?

What issues do I need to look for in my architect’s and/or engineer’s appointment?

What is Professional Indemnity Insurance, and why should my builder have it?

What should I do before I sign a contract with my builder?

What Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) should my architect and engineer hold and for how long?1

What is a Contract Administrator/Employer’s Agent, why do I need one and who should it be?

Why does my lender need to see my construction documents?

What are collateral warranties and why are they important?

Do I need a performance bond from my builder?

Why do I need works insurance?

Who insures the works and my house if it is only being extended?

When do I need a new build guarantee?

I thought my new build guarantee covered all defects!

Why is there so much concern about new basements or basement extensions?

Do I need any consents/permission from the adjoining owners before I start my building works?

Is there anything else I need to think about involving third parties or neighbours when doing my building works?

Should I give money to the builder in advance to buy materials or other items before they are installed/delivered?

What’s the difference if the contract/appointment is signed as a deed?

If the builder damages my house, he has to fix it, doesn’t he?

What happens if the builder damages my neighbour’s house?

What do I do if the builder doesn’t finish the job?

How can I make the builder fix defects?

But the builder said it would only cost £x!

It’s been X years and the builder still isn’t done!!

My builder has gone bankrupt – now what?

Why does my lender not accept the ‘noting’ of its interest on my insurance?

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