The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Practical completion marks the end of the construction period of a project, when the works are 'finished' and the employer can occupy and/or use them. Practical completion also typically marks the start of the defects liability period/maintenance period.
As explained below, practical completion is an important stage in a construction project because it has significant commercial, contractual, financial and practical implications for both the employer and the contractor. Whether a construction project has, in fact, achieved practical completion is a frequent source of disagreement and disputes within the construction industry.
Practical completion is also known as ‘substantial completion’ or simply ‘completion’ in some contracts.
Many problems that occur on construction projects in relation to practical completion arise out of the difficulty in knowing what the term practical completion means.
It is quite typical for the expression 'practical completion' to be used in building contracts with little or no clarification as to what it is intended to mean, ie what state the contract requires the works to have reached in order for them to be certified as practically complete. Surprisingly, many of the standard forms that are widely used by the construction industry do not define the term practical completion, despite referring to it as a concept and placing significance on the certification of it. See Avoiding problems with practical completion below
Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK
Complete all the fields above to proceed to the next step.
**Trials are provided to all LexisPSL and LexisLibrary content, excluding Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance, subscription packages are tailored to your specific needs. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial.
To view the latest version of this document and thousands of others like it, sign-in to LexisPSL or register for a free trial.
Existing user? Sign-in
Take a free trial
Take a free trial
Private nuisancePrivate nuisance is an unlawful interference with a person's use or enjoyment of land or some right over or in connection with it. Interference must be unreasonable, and may be caused, eg by water, smoke, smell, fumes, gas, noise, heat or vibrations. Where the defendant has not
Provisional sumsWhat are provisional sums?There is no precise standard definition of provisional sum but it is generally understood to refer to an amount inserted in a bill of quantities, or contract sum analysis, to cover certain items of work that cannot be accurately defined, detailed or valued
Indemnity costs orders—principlesThis Practice Note considers orders for costs determined on an indemnity basis (indemnity costs orders). A court may order that costs are assessed on an indemnity basis so that any doubt as to the costs claimed are resolved in favour of the receiving party. Compare
Stay of proceedings—when can you apply to stay a claim?This Practice Note considers the question of when court proceedings can be stayed. It identifies scenarios in which a party may apply for a stay of proceedings, including to allow for: a jurisdictional challenge; arbitration; an attempt to
0330 161 1234