Blue navy kitchen extension built by builders

Do Builders Give Contracts

Do Builders Give Contracts?

Understanding the legal implications of a construction project is important before hiring a builder. Even for smaller projects, you always need to make sure that you’re legally covered in case something goes wrong. That’s why written contracts are recommended. However, you’ll quickly find that not all builders give contracts by default.

A contract is not mandatory

A written contract is not mandatory for commencing work on a project. You can even conclude a contract verbally – just agree on certain terms with the builder and give them the green light to start working on the project.

Because of this, many builders will usually choose to skip signing a contract, especially for smaller projects. Some see it as an extra obstacle that wastes their time. The same goes for customers – in many cases, someone might prefer to work without a written contract if the opposite would take longer. 

Builders renovated a room

Why a contract is always recommended

Despite this, it’s always recommended to get everything outlined in writing as clearly as possible. While this is not a legal requirement, it provides you with a layer of protection in case things go wrong and the builder does not fulfil their obligations.

A written contract is hard evidence of the agreement between you and the builder. In the event of a dispute, they won’t be able to just say “we never agreed on that” – it will all be listed clearly in a document signed by both parties.

Find out what your rights are if you need to break a contract with a builder.!

Written contracts can also be useful even if you never get into a dispute with the builder themselves. For example, years later you might find yourself entangled in a court case involving your property. You might be required to show proof of work that has been done on the property for various reasons. In that situation, a written contract between you and a builder can go a long way towards satisfying the court’s requirements.

Always ask your builder to sign a contract. Prefer to work with builders that agree to this. Not all builders give contracts, but there are plenty that do.


Clara Annesley

Clara Annesley is an interior design and construction content writer. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Design Technology from the University of West London. Clara specialises in residential construction for topics like health & safety, architectural design and writing cost guides for renovation and remodelling projects.