Reminder about the importance of contracts & legal expenses cover for home improvement projects

Self-Build Zone Director Simon Middleton has issued a reminder to those embarking on homebuilding and home improvement projects about the need for properly evidenced contracts. Simon is an expert on the subject of site insurance and warranties , particularly avoiding costly self–build, extension, renovation and home improvement project insurance pitfalls plus the use of standard contracts on self-build, renovation and extension projects.

Simon Middleton said:

“Proper contracts are absolutely essential and are the glue that binds all the elements of your project together! We have been involved with the homebuilding and improvement sectors for many years. One the biggest problem areas we have experienced outside of physical loss or damage claims, is the lack of use of properly evidenced contracts between clients, professional, contractors, tradesmen and suppliers of materials”.

He went on to say:

“People have quite literally parted with many thousands of pounds without any written evidence of contract – and then are left helpless as they have no proof when things go wrong. The burden of proof is on you and it is crucial that you have written contracts to help establish liability and quantum of loss”.

Self Build Zone have developed a suite of four Contracts for unlimited use for anyone doing a new build, conversion, renovation or extension project. They are written in plain English and are easily downloadable either separately or as a package.

1.    Appointment of Professional Consultant Document B151 , for use when appointing an Architect, Project Manager or other Professional

2.    Building Contract B152 , which is for use when appointing a Contractor to build a new house or carry out other fairly substantial work

3.    Trade Contract B153 , for appointing a contractor for part of the work

4.    Supply & Installation Contract B154 for appointing a firm to supply and install equipment – e.g. boiler, central heating system, kitchen etc.

The Importance of Contracts & Legal Expenses Cover

This is backed up with the addition of Legal Expenses cover. If a dispute arises the legal team will provide you with legal advice and, if appropriate, enable you to pursue a contractual dispute claim where there is a good prospect of success. With the benefit of proper contracts this will provide the necessary proof of the basis of the contract and hopefully enable a swift conclusion to any dispute. Eviction costs are also covered.

Legal Expenses Insurance

A helpline is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing the essential legal advice you need and is your first point of call. If the issue escalates and there are reasonable prospects of success then the legal team will take over your claim and/or appoint a specialist to take over the case on your behalf (terms and conditions apply).

Limit of Indemnity £50,000 any one claim - Contractual Disputes Cover

Pursuing claims arising out of a contract (which must be evidenced and recorded in writing), entered into by, or on behalf of you, arising directly from the construction of the Property, in order to seek compensation and/or implementation of the contract from the following:

  • The Vendor of the plot of land
  • The Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer acting on the Insured Person’s behalf
  • The Architect and or Architectural Technical Draughtsman acting on the Insured Person’s behalf
  • Any supplier of materials, fittings, decorations or built-in appliances
  • Any Structural or Mechanical Engineer acting on the Insured Person’s behalf
  • The groundwork Contractor (including test bores)
  • The Demolition Contractor
  • The Surveyor/Quantity Surveyor acting in their supervisory role in the course of building work
  • The Local Authority (other than in connection with planning disputes)
  • The Utility charged with the connection of Water, Sewage, Electricity, Gas or Telephone services
  • The main contractor of each individual trade who is carrying out the construction of the Property on the Insured Person’s behalf including any claim against any guarantee provided by the individual trade or main contractor

Subject to the cause of action arising and being subject to a Court of Jurisdiction within the Territorial Limits

Eviction Cover

  • The eviction of anyone in the Property without Your permission

It’s easy to download a Contract Template or to get a Legal Expenses quote

Go online at or call the team on 0845 230 8974

Site Insurance is essential for anyone planning an extension, renovation, conversion or new build project. Self-Build Zone have several different site insurance options to protect your project during the build process, including flexible short term extendable policies as well as the traditional 2 year policy.

Self-Build Zone products include:

Site Insurance
Buildings Insurance
Structural Warranty
Building Control Services
Renovation Insurance
Code for Sustainable Homes
SAP Energy Ratings
Air Pressure Testing
Sound Testing

About Self Build-Zone:

Self-Build Zone is a trading style of Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited , which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.  Self-Build Zone provides site insurance and structural warranty packages for new builds, renovations, extensions and conversion projects from DIY home improvements and new build, to major renovations incorporating large scale alteration, employment of tradesmen and extension work.

Self-Build Zone Limited is a company registered in England with the company number 04693892.   The registered office for Self-Build Zone Limited is Anton House, South Park, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1EB.

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Quick facts

Self Build Zone have developed a suite of four Contracts for unlimited use for anyone doing a new build.
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Site Insurance is essential for anyone planning an extension, renovation, conversion or new build project.
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Proper contracts are absolutely essential and are the glue that binds all the elements of your project together!
Simon Middleton