Getting started on improvements, extensions and repairs .....and avoiding hot spots!
When you decide to improve, extend or carry out repairs to a listed building you will need the assistance of professionals. The parties involved in your building works will usually be co-ordinated by an architect or a surveyor who will act as an overseer of works carried out. They will find trusted contractors and craftsmen to work on the project. The choice of contractor is important because specialist materials and skills may be required to achieve a proper repair and a poor job could affect the market value of your property – a point most people overlook.
If the work is part of an insurance claim you have made, most non-specialist insurers will insist you use a building contract for their own panel but if you go to an insurance company who deal extensively in older properties you will be allowed to use a craftsman most suited to the work required. This is an important aspect to bear in mind when you choose your insurer in the first place.
The main contractor has a responsibility to ensure no damage is caused to the property and must maintain adequate public liability insurance. The indemnity limit should reflect the maximum potential loss and any sub-contractor must carry the same indemnity limit and their insurance details must be verified before they start work.
The architect/surveyor will generally use the 'JCT Minor works 6.3b' contract conditions to form the basis of the contract between you and the builder. This usually places the onus on you as the employer to insure against material damage to the project – which is why you must brief your insurance company fully before work begins. Make sure your insurance advice is the best available as they need to understand the contract conditions.
In simple terms, responsibility falls into the following categories:
|Works in progress||Owner|
|Negligent damage||Contractor's public liability insurance|