What is a JCT Contract?
The JCT is a body that represents a wide range of interests in the building and construction industries. Since its founding in 1931, the JCT has produced standard forms of documentation, such as contracts and guidance notes, for use in the construction industry. So, if you ever come across someone referring to a ‘JCT contract’, it is typically in reference to a standard building contract.
JCT contracts are usually made between an ’employer’ and a ‘contractor’ to facilitate the process of delivering a building project. They set out all of the relevant terms and conditions, including the obligations of the parties, the costs involved and specification of the project. This allows all parties to see exactly what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, who needs to do the work and what the cost will be.
Crucially, a JCT contract provides clarity on the roles and responsibilities of each party to try to ensure a smooth delivery of the project.
How does a JCT work in practice?
To understand how a JCT works, it’s best to use an example:
Property-developers Limited employ Building Builder Contractors Limited to refurbish a block of flats. Property-developers Limited require the work to be completed to a tightly controlled specification, which Building Builder Contractors Limited must work towards. The specification of works breaks down the work completed into sections, of which, there are agreed fees for each section.
The fees attributed to each section of the works are detailed in the JCT contract. At the same time, the obligations of the parties are set out, e.g. with work sign-offs or correcting defects.