Triassic, on 03 February 2016 - 07:17 PM, said:
I'm about to place the order for the timber frame for our new build. Should this element by covered be a contract, or am I simply buying a finished product. I'm paying 15% up front for the design and structural calculations and the rest on delivery.
Which elements of a self build should be covered by a contract?
For a timber frame, you definitely want a detailed written contract with dots and tittles audited by you, that you understand.
For the second question, I would say you want a documented contract:
- For anything expensive (ie that it would hurt overly to write off).
- For anything you need to manage over a period of time.
- For anything for which you might need redress later.
- For anything which you need to prove to any third party (eg LA, NHBC, an insurance company) to prove you have done something, don't need to do something because it is down to somebody else, prove a liabilty (eg if concrete lorry knocks down your wall), can make somebody do etc. Example Jeremy's 'entrepreneurial' :-) transfer of responsibility for wheel washing to the suppliers which let him clear a condition with the LA, which I believe was in the standard subbie contract described as "terms" or similar (J?): http://www.ebuild.co...&comment_id=147
You perhaps don't want a written contract when:
- It is a barter or favour and you don't want to have it known in your records, but you lose your right to formal redress and you need to know that you can remedy any disputes informally. Do that without thinking and it is a good way to lose friends.
- A formal contract doesn't have to look like a multipage booklet written in Chinese from your local solicitor.
- You have a contract without a specific written contract in most cases, since a contract is just accepting an "offer" in return for a "consideration".
- Most contracts are written in a slightly darker ink on a slightly lighter background on the back of the quote, and are part of the 'offer'.
- If you want to define terms exchanges of letters are one way. You can even do a signature space at the bottom, 2 copies and a stamped addressed envelope.
- An unrecorded verbal contract is legally a contract if it meets the bid-offer-consideration test but is worth very little if you need to enforce it; don't go there unless you have a good reason. A good tool is to email (or fax) afterwards confirming the details of a conversation.
Edited by ferdinand, 04 February 2016 - 11:05 AM.