Last edited 19 Aug 2015

Self-build home: Appoint a contractor to construct the home

Self build plan header.jpg

Preparing tender documents.

Before appointing a contractor to construct the home, it is important to decide:

  • The form of contract and contract conditions.
  • Requirements for contractual warranties and performance bonds.
  • Works that will not be part of the contract.
  • The dates for commencing and completing the works and any phasing requirements.

The designer should co-ordinate the preparation of tender documentation, a pre-tender estimate (the final estimate of the likely cost of the works) and a cash flow projection (so that the requirement for funds is known).

The tender documentation provides a detailed description of the works that is issued to prospective contractors (tenderers) so they can prepare an offer (tender) for carrying out the works.

The tender documents might include:

Selecting a contractor.

Potential contractors might be identified by:

  • Advertising.
  • Research.
  • Recommendation.
  • Existing relationships.

Interviews might then be carried out to produce a short list that appear suitably experienced, available and easy to work with.

The designer collates the tender documents and arranges dispatch to and return from the tenderers. It may be appropriate to arrange mid-tender interviews for the tenderers to answer questions, talk through alternative proposals, and to arrange site visits.

The designer co-ordinates assessment of the tenders received from contractors and may conduct further interviews. The designer prepares a tender appraisal report and negotiations are entered into with the preferred tenderer. A reserve tenderer may be selected in the event that negotiations are unsuccessful.

Before a decision is made to appoint the preferred tenderer, it is important to ensure adequate funding is in place.

The designer collates the contract documents and arranges for the execution of two copies, one for the self builder and one for the contractor. The contractor may be required to provide evidence of their insurance cover.

NB Self-build clients are ‘domestic clients’ for the purposes of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (health and safety regulations generally referred to as the 'CDM Regulations'), and so the client's duties under the regulations will generally fall to the contractor. See CDM for self-builders and domestic clients for more information.

Next stage: Prepare for construction.

List of all stages.