• Description

JCT Agreement for Minor Building Works (MW98)

The Agreement for Minor Building Works (MW98) is the most widely used form of building contract. Since 1968, when it was first issued, (as MW80) it has been used consistently for simple short contracts of moderate price for which it is intended.

It is generally suitable for building work (new extensions, refurbishment etc.) up to a value of £100,000 (at year 2000 prices)

The contract should only be used between a building contractor and a client who has engaged an architect or some other professional qualified person to advise on and administer its terms.

The contract itself consists of 28 pages and includes the articles of agreement, conditions, supplemental conditions and guidance note. Although it is a relatively small document, all the main terms of the contract are included.

This form of contract can be used when the client, through his adviser, has prepared either

  • Drawings
  • Drawings and specification
  • Drawings and schedules
  • Drawings specifications and schedules

One of these and the contract form the contract documents.

The main conditions of this contact covers

Commencement and completion

  • Commencement and completion
  • Extension of time
  • Damages for non-completion
  • Practical completion
  • Defect liability

Control of the Works

  • Assignment
  • Sub-contracting
  • Contractor's representative
  • Exclusion from the works
  • Architect's/Contract Administrator's instructions
  • Variations
  • Provisional sums


  • Progress payments and retention
  • Penultimate certificate
  • Notices and amounts to be paid and deductions
  • Final certificate
  • Contribution, levy and tax charges
  • Fixed price
  • Right of suspension by contractor

Injury, damage and insurance

  • Injury to or death of persons
  • Injury or damage to property
  • Insurance of the works by Contractor - Fire etc
  • Insurance of the works and any existing structures by Employer


  • Notices
  • Determination by Employer
  • Determination by Contractor

These are some of the conditions within the contract. You need to know of their existence but not necessarily how they operate, all are administrated by the contract administrator, he/she will also be able to advise and explain your obligations under the contract and discuss what if scenarios'.

Your main obligations under this contract are

  • Give procession of the site to the contractor
  • Not to interfere with the contractors access to the works
  • Pay the contractor for the work done
  • Take out or increase your Insurance if the works are to an existing building.

Most of these are straight forward to understand apart from the insurance element.

While care has been taken in preparing this note it should not be treated as definitive legal interpretation or commentary. You should seek proper legal advice from a suitable qualified person.

*Not for use in Scotland