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CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION

DELIVERING THE GOODS

Administering Your Building Contract

Once the builder has been chosen and the price agreed, you will need to enter into a contract for the provision of the building work that will formally set down in detail the terms of your agreement.

Ask yourself three questions:
• Does the builder have your best interests at heart?
• Do you fully understand technical drawings and specifications?
• Do you have experience in building contract law?

If the answer to any of these questions is “No” then you need somebody to act on your behalf to administer the contract between you and the builder.

You don’t necessarily need an architect to administer the building contract. Anybody who has at least the same level of expertise and experience as the builder will probably do. But you definitely need someone.

Waterland Architects are able to act as contract administrators, appointed under the terms of the building contract, to ensure that the terms of the contract are fully complied with.

Contract Administration Examples

We are often surprised by how many people expect to pay their builder money up front!

Waterland Architects have administered millions of pounds worth of building contract work and a builder has never received an up-front payment on a project administered by us.

The standard position in building contracts is that the builder gets paid for completed works and certain materials on site… nothing else. If the builder ceases to trade immediately after having received your up-front payment then you lose that money and become just another creditor. If a builder demands an up-front payment, beware, because they are either trying it on, or they might have cash flow problems.

Another simple example is the apparently clever mechanism of the “penalty clause” for late completion. You, reasonably, want to make sure that the contractor finishes the job on time, so you write into the contract that, if they go over the agreed completion date, they will be subject to a nasty financial penalty, by way of money deducted directly from his payments…

However, the law’s position is that
“The essence of a penalty is a payment of money stipulated as in terrorem of the offending party; the essence of liquidated damages is a genuine covenanted pre-estimate of damage”

In other words, if you try to enforce a penalty clause that seeks to punish a contractor, rather than accurately and transparently reflects your direct financial loss, the court may well look very unfavourably upon you.

If you understand contract law, brilliant! But if you don’t, you definitely need someone who does to help you in your dealings with the contractor so as to ensure that your building is built on time, on budget and in accordance with the contract documents.

“ENSURING THAT YOUR BUILD PROJECT IS ON TIME, ON BUDGET AND CONSTRUCTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR CONTRACT TERMS”

In the terms of your building contract there will need to be a provision for every potential variable, including (but not limited to):

DETAILED SCOPE OF WORKS

payment terms

commencement and completion dates

agreement of variations

Insurance Cover

Defects liability

Waterland helps clients to...

DEVELOP YOUR BRIEF

DEVELOP YOUR BRIEF

We can help you analyse your requirements and develop your brief.

SOLVE COMPLEX PROBLEMS

SOLVE COMPLEX PROBLEMS

We can look at where you might need to balance the requirements of conflicting pressures and give you options of how to get the best solution to complex problems.

VISUALISE THE BUILD

VISUALISE THE BUILD

We can help you visualise the building in its surroundings and understand exactly what it’s going to look like as part of the decision making process.

MANAGE CONTRACTORS

MANAGE CONTRACTORS

We can administer a building contract so that you have peace of mind that you will be totally in control of both the budget and the process from start to finish.

DRIVE VALUE

DRIVE VALUE

We can advise on how to get the best value for money and ensure that you appoint the best contractor for your particular project.

DESIGN END TO END

DESIGN END TO END

We can provide detailed deign solutions right through the process from choosing a plot to interior design.

Get in touch with Waterland Architects for Contract Administration advice

KEY PEOPLE

Some of the experienced team at Waterland Architects

Principal Architect

Business Manager

Architectural Assistant

Interior Designer

Admin Assistant

Architectural Designer

OTHERS

Other faces seen regularly at the offices of Waterland Architects

Head Walk Co-ordinator

Snack Liason

Chief Troublemaker

ESTABLISHED 1997

Waterland is dynamic architectural practice that brings together a range of experience, and skill to deliver a high quality service for our clients in the complex world of the built environment.

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Waterland were the first architects I spoke to who really got what I wanted to achieve

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