Building and construction/Practical completion

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Practical completion is the stage when the works have been completed as per the contract documents and are "reasonably fit for occupation", which means services such as power and gas are connected and all appliances must be working.

It is important to note that practical completion and hand-over do not necessarily occur at the same time. The builder will claim that the house is at practical completion and set a date for handover to be some time later so that the owner has the opportunity to inspect the works and record defects. On residential works the Defects Liability Period will start at this point.

Web resources

Sample documents

This page has been established to upload sample documents to provide teachers with useful teaching resources. Please note these samples are "generic" and will need to be altered to suit specific projects.

Key points

1. Should an owner occupy premises prior to practical completion it is likely the builder's insurance policy will no longer cover the premises.

2. Practical completion on residential works is often tied to the issue of an occupancy certificate by the principal certifying authority.

3. Some contracts will allow practical completion to be achieved whilst minor external works still remain to be completed. However the defects liability period may not start until such works are finished.

4. At the time of practical completion the builder will submit a final claim for monies outstanding. Upon payment of these amounts keys to the premises and warranty certificates will be provided to the owner to allow occupation.

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