Basic Requirements of a Building Contract
Here is a basic checklist that should be the minimum areas to be covered and the requirements of a building contract.
The written agreement
1. Who does what?
2. Where is the project exactly?
3. When will they do it?
4. How much will it cost? (Inclusive or exclusive of local taxes).
5. When is it to be paid for? (And how).
6. Is it all to be paid on completion or are moneys retained as a security for guarantee of quality over a period of time?
7. Is there a maintenance period? (An agreed period of time after the project is complete in which to remedy defects which may occur).
8. Who is responsible for what? For example: consents and local body requirements.
9. Who is responsible for providing water, power toilet and storage facilities for the contractors while the project is undertaken? For example: you probably don’t want 20 sheets of gypsum board stored in the hall way for the duration of the contract or fifteen workmen using your children’s toilet everyday.
10. Who has the insurances in place and what insurances are necessary and to what value?
11. Where are the materials and goods for the project to be delivered and when? (Refer to point 9)?
12. Who is responsible for the quality and timing checks and controls, when will they be carried out and how will they be addressed?
13. Who is to handle the timing and coordination for the building inspections?
14. Does the contractor have a health and safety plan in place and what is their site accident record like?
Requirements of a Contract Summary
While a lot of these items are really the main contractors responsibility the questions still need to be asked and then the answers documented in a legal and binding contract. This is for the client’s protection, the contractor’s protection and the designer/project manager’s protection.
So now you can see some of the pitfalls and complications within the organization of the project. You realize that the drawings and written scope that you have produced actually can be the basis of the contract, but there are other areas that need written definition.
There are standard contracts and forms of contract that actually identify and provide you with the means to get through those gray areas. Each country will have their own form so ask your lawyer to get the appropriate standard contracts and adjust them as necessary or use them in their entirety.