Money & Contracts

Before you start a project with your builder you must ensure you have everything agreed in writing.  It is important to draw up your own contract and sort out payment instalments before you begin to protect yourself.


Always ensure you agree the timeframe for the project and agree the method of payments in advance.

All payment instalments should be agreed in writing before the work starts. Avoid handing over a large sum of cash up front and never agree to paying for everything up front.

Always get a receipt, on the spot, for any payments made to your builder. 

You may wish to include a “retention instalment” which is paid at a specific time after the project is completed for e.g. one month after completion. This will give you time to find any problems with the work and will encourage your builder to fix any problems quickly. 

Payments in advance are not usually necessary on most domestic projects. Check what cover your builder has in case of insolvency.


Make sure you have a solid contract in writing that outlines the full scope of the work to be carried out. Be wary of builders who refuse to put anything in writing.

Make sure the contract outlines the responsibilities of both parties including all financial considerations, insurance and details of the procedure in case of any disputes.

The contract should also list everything you’ve agreed on in terms of timings, removing rubbish, tidying up and who is buying the materials.

If you have agreed to allow the use of toilet/washing facilities and waste disposal this should also be included in the contract.


Read more:

Choosing a Builder

Working with your Builder

Why use a Master Tradesmen builder?


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