We give you tips for drawing up a contract with a general or sole contractor
So that you as a construction owner don’t have to conclude individual work contracts with different businesses, you (or your architect or engineer on your behalf) can transfer the entire execution of the planned construction to a general contractor or a sole contractor. In doing so, you transfer the task of supervising work and compliance with time and financial constraints to a single contact. The general or sole contractor relieves you as the construction owner by coordinating the tradespeople involved and bringing claims in the event of faulty workmanship. The general contractor takes care of the construction of the house, while the sole contractor takes care of the entire planning process in addition to construction.
What must be included in the contract with the general or sole contractor?
There are no specific legal provisions in this regard, which allows quite broad flexibility. To rein in this flexibility somewhat, our contract template follows SIA standard 18. This standard was created by the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects and is more detailed than the provisions of the works contract. Although the standard is generally tends to favor the contractor, it is still suitable for use by private construction owners.
Core elements of the general/sole contractor agreement:
- Name/company, address of the parties to the contract
- Contents of the general/sole contractor agreement
- Consideration of the construction owner (fee)
- Beginning and end of the contract and termination period
- Date and signature of the parties to the contract
Can I cancel the contract if I am not satisfied?
The agreement with a general/sole contractor is a works contract, which means that you can withdraw from it at any time. However, please note that you are obligated to compensate the contractor for work already completed. Moreover, unless stipulated otherwise, the general/sole contractor is entitled to compensation if they incur loss or damage as a result of the contract termination.
Since agreements with a general/sole contractor generally contain numerous provisions, especially with regard to responsibilities, it is advisable to draw up the agreement in writing. You may even want to obtain assistance from a legal expert or receive our legal advice over the phone.
Other legal information can be found in our document. Our template will help you draw up such a contract.