selcting a contractor for your holiday home

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Your responsibilities when employing contractors to work on your holiday home

selecting building contractor holiday homeIf you’re having work carried out or renovations made to your holiday home that require builders to be on site, these alterations will bring with them a unique set of risks and considerations for your property and the contents within it.

Are you aware of your own obligations and your responsibilities when employing contractors to work on your holiday home property, both from a safety and an insurance perspective?

What are your responsibilities as a holiday homeowner?

As the owner of the property you have an obligation to ensure that any contractor working on your holiday home is competent, suitably trained to carry out the work they are undertaking and will work with due regard for the safety of those around them.

A key element of this process is selecting a skilled professional to undertake the work and having a process in place that ensures you end up using the most appropriate people for the job.

If you’re unsure of how to establish the credentials of a builder, or where you can find accredited tradesmen, there is more information on this and the steps you should take when selecting a building contractor to work on your holiday home in our earlier blog post here.

What do you need to do with your insurance?

If you’re undertaking building work on your holiday home you may need to alter your insurance surrounding the structure of your property, the contents within it, along with all unfixed materials and goods other than builders’ plant, tools and other equipment.

Your insurer will need to be made aware of any major works carried out on your holiday home, which includes when it undergoes major structural alterations or when external scaffolding is to be used.

If you’re in doubt as to whether or not you need to inform us about your building works we suggest you give one of our specialist holiday home insurance advisers a call and we’ll be able to talk you through what we need to know.

Have you checked your builder’s insurance?

You should ensure that your contractor has Public Liability (Third Party) and Employer’s Liability insurance. The cover of both of these should be sufficient to cover the scale and scope of the work they are undertaking for you and it is reasonable to ask to see their current valid Certificate of Insurance.

Inspecting the site on a regular basis

Safety risks can quickly emerge on an active building site so it’s vital that processes are in place to regularly monitor the site and address any issues before they can cause any potential harm.

Someone competent in identifying any potential risks should inspect your site at the end of each day. These site inspections should be logged, along with any issues raised and addressed.

These daily inspections should be complimented by ad hoc inspections of works and safety conditions to ensure compliance at all times.

Have you told your neighbours?

For those living a good distance from their holiday home it can often be prudent to inform those living near the property of any impending building works and potential disruption as a result. Proactive management and communication in this area can often mitigate potential conflict or animosity down the line.

Our quick checklist for employing contractors:

  1. Put in place procedures to ensure you select skilled tradesmen capable of completing the work you need.
  1. If in doubt, contact your insurer to advise of the work you will be carrying out and any insurance alterations you need to make as a result.
  1. Check that your builder has the necessary Public Liability and Employer Liability insurances.
  1. Ensure procedures are in place to inspect the site on a regular basis.
  1. Consider informing neighbours of any works you are undertaking.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

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