Last edited 09 Aug 2017

Minor works

The phrase ‘minor works’ refers to small, relatively straight-forward construction projects, typically less than £500,000 in value.

In particular the phrase is used in relation to the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Minor Works Building Contract. This contract follows the traditional procurement route, where first the design is completed, and then a contractor is appointed to construct the works. JCT do not set a limit for the minor works building contract in terms of value, but typically it will be used on projects of less than £250,000.

More important than value in determining whether this is an appropriate form of contract is the nature of the project.

It can be used for projects where:

  • The project is fairly simple.
  • The project should last no more than 12 months.

It is not suitable where:

  • The project is more complex.
  • The project design includes bills of quantities.
  • The project has detailed control procedures.
  • There are provisions to govern work carried out by named specialists.

The JCT Minor Works Building Contract is more straight forward to administer than many other forms of contract, however, the parties will still need to be very clear of their obligations and liabilities and the risks that they are accepting. Generally the client’s architect or contract administrator will administer the contract.

Other standard forms of minor works contract are available. The New Engineering Contract (NEC) states that it’s contracts can be used for minor works, and the Federation of Master Builders publishes a freely available suite of minor works contracts.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Government Conditions of contract (GC Works) contracts have now been withdrawn in favour of NEC contracts.

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