The JCT Homeowner's Contract

Many disputes involving residential building projects arise because of a failure to put in place a formal written contract before work begins and because the parties fail to agree on certain essential things, such as what work must be carried out. If these things are agreed at the beginning then the potential for disputes is dramatically reduced.

Preparing a contract may sound like a daunting prospect, but it is, in fact, extremely straightforward because there are standard documents available for home owners to use. All that is required is to add details of the particular project.

These standard documents are drafted by the Joint Contracts Tribunal, commonly called the JCT. The JCT has been producing standard form building contracts for over 75 years which are used within the commercial construction industry. Most commercial buildings, such as offices and shopping centres, are built using JCT contracts.

The JCT publishes two contracts for homeowners carrying out small residential building projects such as extensions or refurbishments, which are a building contract and an appointment for a consultant to oversee the building work. There are two versions of the building contract, one to be used where a consultant has been appointed to oversee the work, and one where the homeowner will oversee the work.

The contracts are drafted in clear, simple language and come with guidance notes. They are very easy to use. They cost approximately £15 each or £19 for both, including VAT.

The contracts can be obtained from RIBA bookshops ( and Construction Industry Publications (

The building contract sets out:

The parties' names and addresses. The arrangements for the work. A mechanism for describing the works. Who will apply for planning permission, building regulation approval and party wall...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT