What is a building contract and why do I need one?

For a traditional build, a building contract is an agreement your builders will work from to deliver your project within the cost and time frame you agreed to, to the specification you expect.

The agreement is based on three main factors:

  1. TIME it will take to complete the works; The Date for Completion is agreed in writing with your chosen Building Contractors and entered into the Contract.
  2. COST of the Works; The Contract Sum as provided by the Contractor in writing and agreed by the Employer is entered into the Contract.
  3. QUALITY of the Works; Clauses within the building contract state that Works are to be completed in accordance with the Contract Documents. These are the technical drawings and specifications of the Works compiled by your Architect.

What role does your architect perform?

Your Architect will act as an independent administrator of the contract, known as the ‘Contract Administrator’, checking work on-site and ensuring the build is being completed in accordance with the three main factors (as defined within the Contract Documents) –

  1. TIME: If the Contractor thinks the build may take longer than stated within the Contract, your Architect will assess their claim for any Extensions of Time and whether their reasons are in accordance with the terms of the Contract. If they are not, you may be entitled to damages (as pre-agreed and written into the Contract).
  2. COST: Before payment to your contractor, your architect will inspect the works on site and certify they are being completed in accordance with the contract documents. This ensures you are never overpaying for work completed at each stage of the build.
  3. QUALITY: This ensures that what has been designed is what is being built on-site.

Forms of the contract will be directly applicable to the size and type of your project. Your Architect will recommend the most suitable Contract for your build.


Whether you’re building a new home, extending or renovating, we understand it’s all about the little details.
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