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Whilst it may appear easy or low-risk to finish a home that is already 80 or 90% complete, there are a number of risks that you should be aware of, and some protective measures which you should take, before committing yourself to this type of project.
A key risk in taking over another builder’s work is that you may be considered by the owner (and subsequent owners of the property) to have accepted responsibility for the entire job, including works undertaken by the former builder. You might therefore find yourself liable for rectifying any defective works performed by the former builder.
This includes that the base works completed by the former builder may be defective and/or not to industry standards. This, in turn, may impair the quality of your work and require rectification work to be undertaken at your own cost. A common example is where you are contracted to carry out painting work on walls built by a former builder and the walls are defective, which leads to subsequent painting defects in your work.
There are several proactive steps you can take to protect yourself when taking over incomplete building work:
It would also be prudent to factor into your profit margin the financial risks associated with this type of project.
Furthermore, to assist you in deciding whether to take on the project, you should also make inquiries with the client as to why the former builder is no longer working on the project. This will assist you in making commercial decision as to whether or not to take on the unfinished work for the client.
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