Work on Domestic Property

Are you having some work done on your domestic property?

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If you are having 'construction work' carried out on your own home or the home of a family member, you are now classified under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM2015) as a 'Domestic Client'.

As a 'Domestic Client', you are a 'dutyholder' under CDM2015.

'Domestic Clients' are those having work carried out which is not connected with running a business. Usually, this means arranging for work to be carried out on the property where you or a family member lives.

In many situations, 'Domestic Clients' wishing to extend, refurbish or demolish parts of their own property will, in the first instance, engage an architect or other designer to produce possible designs for them. It is also recognised that construction work does not always follow immediately after design work is completed.

If they wish, a 'Domestic Client' has the flexibility of agreeing with their designer (in writing) that the designer co-ordinates and manages the project, rather than this role automatically passing to the Principal Contractor. Where no such agreement is made, the Principal Contractor will automatically take over the project management responsibilities.

To clarify - 'Domestic Clients' are in scope of CDM2015, but their duties as a 'client' are normally transferred to; a) the contractor, on a single contractor project, or b) the Principal Contractor, on a project involving more than one contractor. However, the 'Domestic Client' can choose to have a written agreement for the Principal Designer to carry out the client duties.

For information, please see CDM 2015 Part 2, or the information available on the HSE's website Are you a domestic client?

Useful information is also available as follows:

Health & Safety (H&S)

Are the contractors you will be using accredited by a reputable H&S scheme? i.e. CHAS or another SSIP scheme. (To verify that a contractor is CHAS registered Contact CHAS or to check on another SSIP scheme Contact SSiP.)

To check if the contractors you will be using have been issued any written notices by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) visit the HSE Notices Website.

Do you (the 'Domestic Client') or your contractors require a 'competence source of advice'? Please CONTACT US or you/they could also look on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants (OSHCR) Register for a Registered H&S Practitioner.

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Use the Legislation website for more information about CDM 2015.

Local Authority Building Control

Advice for homeowners on extensions and conversions.

Finding a trader

To find a reputable trader use the Trading Standards Institute Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, TrustMark, Buy With Confidence, Citizens Advice or Trade Associations.

Local Councils/Authorities may also hold a list of Local Tradesmen, so check with them too.

Companies House

Verify how long a company has been trading and if they are still trading on Companies House.


Use the Planning Portal for Pre-Application Advice and Contact Information.

Citizens Advice

See the top tips on How to spot a Cowboy Builder and general Consumer Advice.

Cowboy Builders







BBC Watchdog

BBC's watchdog also provides Consumer Advice.

Trading Standards

Search for your local Trading Standards office.



  • Ask for references from previous customers for the type of work you want to have done.
  • Obtain quotations from at least three contractors. Ideally, ask for a 'fixed price quote'.
  • Carefully check the terms of the contract, including payment, timescales and any penalty clauses.

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