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Dear Anne, Absolutely, insurance is a crucial aspect to address in your contract to safeguard both parties involved. Here’s a breakdown: Contractor’s Insurance: How to Stipulate in the Contract: Now, about the homeowner insurance, while it’s not a direct part of the construction contract, it’s advisable to inform your insurance provider about the upcoming construction […]


Hello Neil, Great to hear that you’ve received the contract – a significant step in the process. Now, onto the important task of scrutinising it. The use of the JCT Minor Works contract is a positive aspect, as it’s a widely recognized and fair standard form. However, it’s always wise to be vigilant. While each […]


Hello James, Absolutely, without a doubt, it’s advisable to request a written programme from your builder. Having a detailed project programme in writing serves as a valuable reference point for both parties. It outlines the planned sequence of tasks, milestones, and estimated timelines for each phase of the project. This written programme provides transparency and […]


Hello Richard, Good question. Typically, the responsibility for preparing the project programme lies with the builder. They are in the best position to create what’s known as a line-by-line programme, detailing the sequence of tasks, timelines, and dependencies. Also, they know the specific resources that they will allocate to your project and when these will […]

Mr and Mrs Smith

Dear Mr and Mrs Smith, I’m delighted to hear that you found the advice helpful, and I’m more than happy to guide you on preparing a scope of work for your loft conversion. It’s a crucial step in ensuring clarity and precision when soliciting quotes from potential builders. Break Down the Project: Outline the project […]


Dear Chris, Firstly, congratulations on getting planning permission for your dreamy new extension! It’s such an exciting step in the journey to your dream home. Now, onto the builder selection, a crucial phase indeed. Considering you’ve received several quotes within your budget, that’s a promising start. When it comes to making the choice, it’s not […]


Oh, Sophia, I understand the conundrum you find yourself in, and it’s a bit of a sticky one, isn’t it? While it would have been ideal to have a contract from the get-go, let’s not dwell on what’s water under the bridge. Now, despite the absence of a formal contract, all is not lost. Communication […]


Dear Clara, Ah, the classic materials-for-labour dance. While it might seem like a straightforward arrangement, my advice remains unwavering – sign a contract. Always. Now, I get the appeal of dividing up the responsibilities, you with the materials, they with the labour. It sounds like a reasonable agreement, doesn’t it? However, my advice is to […]

Katy and Steve

Dear Katy and Steve, It depends. I am sorry, but it not a straight forward answer. You mentioned that it will be only for ‘few weeks’, but how many weeks exactly? Have your contractor provided a programme? Depending on the duration of the works, you may be able to evaluate whether this is something that […]

John and Cristina

Dear John and Cristina, Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt – sign a contract. Always. Now, I understand the temptation to go for a more informal arrangement, especially when you’re on friendly terms with your builder, and cups of tea have been shared. The camaraderie might make you think, “Oh, we’re all good here, […]