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ADVICE FOR EMPLOYING A BUILDER AND CONSULTANT

 

FINDING THE RIGHT CONSULTANT

When you are looking for people to help you with your building work you may find recommendations from friends and neighbours useful.
You can also get lists of professionals in your area from the following:

Architects

Royal Institute of British Architects
Client Services
Phone: 020 7307 3700
www.architecture.com

Surveyors

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Phone: 020 7222 7000
www.rics.org

FINDING THE RIGHT BUILDER

It is vital that you choose a good and reputable builder. You can ask the consultant to get quotations for the work and suggest a builder as part of their services. Alternatively, you can get a list of builders in your area from:

Construction Confederation

Phone: 0870 8989 090
www.thecc.org.uk

National Specialist Contractors Council

Phone: 0844 249 5351
www.nscc.org.uk

ARRANGING THE CONSULTANTS SERVICES

With a prospective consultant discuss:

  • The nature of your building project
  • Your budget
  • The services you want them to provide
  • Their role within the project
  • Their fee

BEFORE YOU SIGN THE CONSULTANCY AGREEMENT

Go through the JCT Homeowner CONSULTANCY Agreement with your consultant and discuss precisely what is involved in each of the stages, then agree and record them within the agreement. The consultant must also fill in the cancellation form at the back of the agreement.

Confirm that the consultant will be dealing with the builder for you
If this is the case, the instructions about the work, or changes you want to make to it should be given to the builder by the consultant and not you.

Agree on the frequency of site visits

Agree on how often the consultant will inspect the work while it is being done.

Go through the adjudication scheme

Adjudication is a fast and relatively cheap way of settling disputes (see “If a dispute should arise”, below). Ask your consultant to go through this scheme with you.

IF A DISPUTE SHOULD ARISE

If you have a disagreement with your consultant that you can't settle, the agreement allows you to refer the problem to an adjudicator or to go to court.

Adjudication is also available under the building contract for any disputes between you and the builder.

If you have any disagreements while the work is being done, first try to sort them out between you before considering going to adjudication or to the courts.

If the adjudicator's decision is challenged in a court you may have to pay other costs.

FURTHER GUIDANCE

Contact your local authority's planning and building control departments or view their website.