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How to negotiate with a construction “company”

It takes a lot of work to go to all the authorities and get all the opinions and permits. But the preparation is far from over. Nowadays it is quite difficult to find skilled craftsmen or a solid construction “company”.

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6 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

A works contract is a necessity

Not in the mood for complicated negotiations? Yes, there’s even the option of going ahead with the renovation yourself and saving on labour costs. However, this usually takes more time and effort. It’s also a question of financial resources. If there are, it’s simply not worth spending time with a drill and a hammer and it’s better to outsource everything to a professional to do it according to a well thought out plan.

However, such plans should be described in as much detail as possible in the works contract. What is not written is as if it were not. It will then be difficult for the client to prove that the window should have been 10 cm further away from the door if this was not agreed in writing in the project or other annex to the works contract. If our neighbour, friend or acquaintance is working on the renovation in question, people may think that requiring a contract to be written will look silly or rude. However, it is also in the interest of the contractor to state their requirements in the contract and, most importantly, to set out in writing the terms and amount of payment. A written confirmation of the commitment may also prove important in the event of an accident or other claim and the taking out of insurance.

If everything goes smoothly, it may indeed look like the contract was unnecessary. After all, you can only know a good contract if there is a real problem. A contract is written precisely to make sure that everything goes smoothly, both parties have clear boundaries, and then people always turn to the contract when a problem arises. For example, the client does not pay the advance on time, or the craftsman falls ill and cannot work on the job for a longer period of time.

A slightly more expensive option is to contract a construction company. It can be recommended not to underestimate the planning and to use the services of an architect in addition to the building contractor. Moreover, the architect can paradoxically make the whole project cheaper with some novel words or ideas that the designer would not have come up with. Architects can also often recommend specific contractors and can even take responsibility for them contractually or act as a building supervisor. It is always better to have one contract to cover everything so that individual contractors cannot pass the buck.

For example, Ms Jana, a manager from Central Bohemia, not only worked with an architect but also wanted to use cheap workers from the former Soviet Union, although the architect recommended another, slightly more expensive option. However, the workers were not accurate in the details of the project, and so, for example, the sewage system or the swimming pool had to be redesigned several times and no one wanted to take responsibility for it.

Contract for work

We will draw up a contract for the work or check the existing one. This way you can be sure that the delivery of the work will be legally sound and free from ambiguity. We will resolve the matter quickly, no matter where you are from in the country. You can pay after the service has been provided.

Tip: Are you renovating your apartment or having a website created? Or are you the one who builds a house for a customer or repairs his car? In all these cases, you will be entering into a contract for work. We will be happy to advise you when and how to conclude it.

What to include in the contract?

It is therefore advisable to think about the overall concept and everything essential in the framework contract, especially the scope of work, the price and the payment of advances for the necessary materials. It is advisable to control everything during the work and to entrust a special construction supervisor with the control. This is often underestimated – yes, it is an additional cost, but it is certainly worth it. A layman may not detect and catch some of the contractor’s mistakes during the remodelling process, the building supervisor will check everything in time and agree with the building company how to proceed and what the final result should look like.

If you discover an error or defect during the work, it will be easier to get the craftsmen to correct it, which will still not be as expensive as if the problem had only come to light when you took over the finished work. Even then, you still have the right to have the defects rectified.

An example of why it is also good for the craftsman to have a well-drafted contract is a situation that is happening more and more often these days. A client orders some remodelling or renovation work. But then, claiming that the company or its worker did something wrong, different, or even caused him damage, he immediately terminates his cooperation with them, but pays nothing. The craftsman then has to go to court to get paid, but often the sums involved are so small that rather than go through the legal hassle, he learns from the situation and does not address it in any way. On the other side is the client, who has part of the work done free of charge. Some dishonest people or even companies build entire houses in this way. However, they are in danger that all those who worked on the construction will join together and demand payment of the debt, including interest for late payment.

Download the free e-book 5 tips to buy or sell property risk-free and go through the process of selling or buying a house, flat and land smoothly.

We prepared this article for the Lidové noviny series “Law & Housing”. See also other articles from the series:

  1. What to watch out for when buying a property
  2. How to get a mortgage
  3. What to check before buying a property
  4. Who pays the property transfer tax and how?
  5. What should be included in the property purchase contract
  6. The most common mistakes when drafting a proposal to the Land Registry
  7. Buying a property from a developer
  8. Keeping the purchase price when buying a property
  9. The difference between a condominium and a freehold
  10. What is an annuity?
  11. How to properly gift a property
  12. What is the purpose of an easement or servitude?
  13. Making a will and settling an estate
  14. What is a collation
  15. What shouldn’t be missing in a lease agreement
  16. When rent increases can be made
  17. Termination of the lease
  18. Agreement to end the tenancy
  19. How to draw up a work contract with a tradesman
  20. Hidden defects and cancellation of a works contract
  21. When do you need planning permission to renovate a property?
  22. Home Rules
  23. What does serving on a condominium board entail?
  24. Why not underestimate the bylaws in a condominium
  25. Common areas in a block of flats
  26. What is involved in refurbishing a block of flats
  27. Can a condominium or housing association go into debt?
  28. How to renovate a house or cottage
  29. What to watch out for when dealing with a construction “company”?
  30. Building a house on a “green field”
  31. How to remove land from the agricultural fund

Tip: The works contract protects both the client and the contractor. It protects the risks associated with late or incomplete delivery of the work, defects in the work, payment problems or copyright. Which twelve points should not be missing from a works contract?

Are you solving a similar problem?

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Contract for work

We will draw up a contract for the work or check the existing one. This way you can be sure that the delivery of the work will be legally sound and free from ambiguity. We will resolve the matter quickly, no matter where you are from in the country. You can pay after the service has been provided.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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