CDM 2015 includes regulation and guidance for domestic projects. We take a quick look at the requirements here.
A domestic client is someone who has construction work done on their own home, or the home of a family member, which is not done in connection with a business.
The domestic client duties in CDM 2015 regulations 4(1) to (7) and 6 must be carried out by—
- the contractor for a project where there is only one contractor;
- the principal contractor for a project where there is more than one contractor; or
- the principal designer where there is a written agreement that the principal designer will fulfil those duties.
If a domestic client fails to make the appointments required by regulation 5—
- the designer in control of the pre-construction phase of the project is the principal designer;
- the contractor in control of the construction phase of the project is the principal contractor.
What should a domestic client do?
A domestic client is not required to carry out the duties placed on commercial clients in regulations 4 (Client duties for managing projects), 6 (Notification) and 8 (General duties) – see also paragraph 23 of the regulations. Where the project involves:
- only one contractor, the contractor must carry out the client duties as well as the duties they already have as contractor (see paragraphs 147–179). In practice, this should involve doing little more to manage the work to ensure health and safety;
- more than one contractor, the principal contractor must carry out the client duties as well as the duties they already have as principal contractor (see paragraphs 110–146 of the regulations). If the domestic client has not appointed a principal contractor, the duties of the client must be carried out by the contractor in control of the construction work.
In some 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 so wish, a domestic client has the flexibility of agreeing (in writing) with their designer that the designer coordinates 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 (see paragraph 54 regulations).
Appendix 6 of the CDM 2015 Regulations gives further guidance for dutyholders who work for domestic clients.
This also includes a flow chart in Figure 1 showing the transfer of the client duties from a domestic client to other dutyholders involved.
There is no doubt, the new regulations mean more responsibility will be placed on building contractors and architects working on domestic projects. If you need advice or support to comply with CDM regulations, talk to a QSC CDM Advisor call 01332 294800.