The Complete Primer on Enabling Works Contracts

Anyone who has ever done contracting work has a pretty good chance of having encountered a construction contract before. This is the document that spells out all the agreements and guidelines that will apply to the construction job. These agreements can include everything from the terms on financing, to the appointment of specific specialists, surveyors, project managers, client representatives, and more. The writing up of a construction contract is an invaluable part of any building job, as it makes sure that all parties involved know what to expect in terms of payment and the standards to which their performance will be held.

What you may not have heard of before is an enabling works contract. In many ways, it is similar to a construction contract, except it applies to work that must be done on a site before building can occur. Because many sites for desired buildings come prepared for construction, these documents are not always needed for every project. All the same, long time workers in the industry are likely to engage with an enabling works contract at some point, and it pays to know exactly what to expect. Here are some things that are generally covered in this kind of agreement.

1. Demolition

More and more often, houses and stores are being built on the site of a previous structure. This practice allows land to be recycled, and is vital for allowing new buildings to be built in areas where land is in high demand and is put at a premium. The demolition clause in a contract will cover things like the removal of any structures standing on the lot, from walls to beams and sometimes foundation. They will often also include the demolition of underground components of the space, including septic tanks, water pipes, and electric wiring. As such, demolition jobs will often involve specialists from many fields to ensure that workers are following safety guidelines appropriately.


2. Land Clearance

Land clearing is much like demolition, except it generally refers to the removal of non structural objects. This can include boulders, walls, small hills, or even thick greenery. These jobs do not generally require much in the ways of specialists, but do necessitate the usage of a fairly large labor force. It will likely also cover things like the rental of large machines, and the seeking of permission from government environmental agencies to ensure that sensitive habitats are not being destroyed.

3. Survey Work

Before any tricky architectural work is attempted, a survey team must generally be assembled and deployed. These specialists will look at and make not of a number of different things, from soil quality and underground structures to geographical shape and the lot’s relationship to other houses. Their insight is invaluable in making sure that the house will not be built in a way that is incompatible with the surrounding environment. Building work in old settlements may also require a historical surveyor, who will make sure that no historically valuable structures are touched in the construction process.