I do have a general interest in this subject because I want to get a feel for how many homeowners/selfbuilders use contracts on their projects to protect themselves and how people go about it.
I'm a Quantity Surveyor by profession who works for a Tier 1 main contractor and one of my duties is to put together detailed contracts for subcontractors which is job specific and not just a form filling exercise to ensure the entire scope of works is captured and eliminate any unforeseen costs.
I read stories everyday from people shelling out ££££s of pounds on renovations and extensions only to end in disaster for the following reasons:
a) Employing a Cowboy Builder -
Most likely cause :
Not carrying out due diligence on a builder
b) Builder going bust -
Most Likely Cause:
Not carrying out thorougher financial checks
c) Project exceeding budget -
Most Likely Cause:
Scope gaps in contract, design development, no contract in place
Their are measure people can take which mitigates all these risks so I was thinking of creating an affordable
online service where I can try and help people with no experience with how the construction industry operates by drafting up detailed contracts on their behalf including vetting builders to ensure they have the skills and financial stability to carry out the works at hand. I do this day in day out at and it does work so I was thinking of creating similar service to consumers via online platform which is affordable.
If people are spending ££££s of pounds on a project wouldn't they want some sort of peace of mind the builder they are about to appoint is capable of carrying out the works and will not scarper into the sunset half way through a project.
I know their are many free contracts available online but most of the free versions I've read are either out of date, doesn't have enough room to capture the entire scope of works or written in legal jargon which is difficult to understand and us a Surveyor I also find it difficult to understand some of the legal terms.
I haven't actually seen a contract written by an architect but would love to know the following as I always thought architects are good at designing buildings and giving professional advice.
A)The contract produced by architects are they detailed enough or is it simply just a form filling exercise for them?
b)Do they liaise with the builder on your behalf when drafting a contract for you?
c)Apart from drawings,specifications & reports are their any other documents they incorporate into the contract or do they simply just fill out the blanks in a contract?
d) Do they include marked up drawings and a detailed scope of works document to ensure everything is captured?
e) Have you experienced issues with contracts drafted by an Architect?
I know some builders will shy away from a project when it comes to contracts but then at least the client is fully aware of the risks they are taking if they still decide to go ahead with someone.
Obviously if you are building a house for example I hope people will have a professional team on board such as Architects QS,engineers etc, who will ensure you have house built to the required standards and someone that manages the budget for you I.E QS.
I want to try offer my services to homeowners, or self builders who are employing individual trades for their projects. I'm not promoting a business but just toying with the idea and want to find out if their is an interest for such service.
If people need any commercial advice on a project please get in touch and I will be more then happy to answer any questions.