NBS Domestic Specification

7.4 Do I need a contract?

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To undertake building work, an agreement between the person requiring the work (the Employer) and the person to undertake the work (the contractor) is required. If the Employer is a consumer (an individual not acting for the purposes of his or her business or profession), please see the help guidance.

The contract states what goods or works are to be supplied or undertaken, the specified price or rate and the timescale. There are usually provisions for varying the work, adjusting the contract sum and amending the completion date with guidelines for resolving any disputes between the parties. It must contain provisions adequate for the procurement of the particular works.

Published building contracts are intended to be read as a whole, and ill-conceived amendments can produce unintended results when construed at law. Ad hoc amendments should be avoided as far as practicable, particularly on points of substance. Where an amendment is considered necessary, it should only be implemented following appropriate professional advice.

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