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Building contract

  • 12-01-2023 1:06pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭

    Hi All 

    Quick question on building contracts (one-off build):

    - Should we be paying 100% upon date of completion? Or should a % be held back for a period in case issues arise?

    - How long should the builder be responsible for defects after completion of the build? Note that this is for builder's finish so we probably won't be in the house for 2-4 months after that to spot any issues



  • Registered Users Posts: 757 ✭✭✭C. Eastwood

    You need to ask a Construction Professional

    A Building Agreement is a written Contract, which should be agreed by both parties, and executed prior to the commencement of the Building Works.

    A Building Contract might not be in writing, but may be apparent by Specific Performance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 70 ✭✭somofagun

    Normally 5% is withheld until practical completion is achieved and once the architect releases the practical completion cert 2.5% of the retention is then paid to the contractor. The remaining 2.5% is held for 12 months which is the defects liability period.

    Any defects picked up during this time are to be fixed by the contractor and when the architect issues the making good defects cert after the 12 months the remaining 2.5% is paid to the contractor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,185 ✭✭✭dmcdona

    Our Architect used a standard form contract and modified to suit us and builder. There was a retention of 5% of the total cost - payable 12 months after completion. I'm guessing, having only done the one build, that retention percentages and retention duration are negotiable between you and the builder though our architect did the negotiation for us.

    Your second question is interesting - because I don't know what that period is for ourselves! That said, the builder was great - came back and fixed any issues we brought up. Though in fairness, all were fairly minor. Also note that if you have "equipment" installed, they will be covered under warranty. Our heat pump/boiler/heat recovery system is warrantied for 7 years.

    We're in the house just over two years and only had one major issue - a mains water pipe to the boiler split. Luckily we were in the house and heard it within seconds. Plumber was out within 2 hours. An olive failed totally randomly (though I've heard since that plumbers using mixed metric and imperial fittings can be the culprit). Scared us because the house is airtight - have had nightmares since of opening front door to be met with a deluge of water gushing out...

    Good luck with the build - the stress, hassle, arguments will be worth it in the end. And we all made up in the end anyhow...

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,677 Mod ✭✭✭✭DOCARCH

    Normally retention amount/percentage and defects period (period retention is held for) should be set out and agreed at tender stage, prior to construction starting. If retention is not set out/included in the building agreement/contract, probably hard to get the builder to agree to it during construction.

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,970 ✭✭✭✭Mellor

    You absolutely have to to withhold a retention. 12 months is standard defects liability.

    Who is handling the contract for you? These are fairly straightforward issues

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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,677 Mod ✭✭✭✭DOCARCH

    'You absolutely have to to withhold a retention. 12 months is standard defects liability'.

    Only issue is that if that is not included in the contract, hard to impose half way through the job or at the end of the job, unless of course the builder agrees to it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    All sorted now - 12 month defect liability period, 5% retained, 2.5% paid at completion and 2.5% after 12 months - although it doesn't give me massive confidence in the engineering company who drafted the contract for us.

    Thanks for the input everyone

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,970 ✭✭✭✭Mellor

    The thread is about terms for the contract. Obviously zero chance of adding it

    there are standard contracts available, might be worth comparing before signing