domestic projects


- Does CDM apply to domestic construction projects?
- When does CDM not apply to domestic projects?
- Who is a domestic client?
- CDM roles and responsibilities with 1 contractor on a project
- CDM roles and responsibilities with more than 1 contractor on a project
- Provision of welfare facilities 
- Site induction 
- HSE notification of domestic landscape construction projects

Does CDM apply to domestic construction projects?

CDM regulations apply to every domestic landscape construction project, regardless of duration, type or extent of project.  The main requirement for CDM to apply to any domestic project is an element of construction.  Under CDM the definition of 'Construction' is very broad - click here to learn more about the activities that fall within the CDM definition of construction. 

Are there any domestic landscaping projects CDM does not apply to?

CDM does not apply to soft landscape works or landscape maintenance which involve no element of 'Construction' as per the CDM definition.

However, when soft landscape works or landscape maintenance is part of a wider construction project, unless the soft landscape or maintenance work can be segregated from the 'construction work' physically or by time, it will be part of the construction project.  Therefore, in most cases although there will be no duties under the CDM Regulations associated with soft landscape work, there will be duties relating to health and safety on the construction site.’  

Who is a domestic client?

A domestic client is any individual who has construction work carried out on their home, or the home of a family member, that is not done as part of any business.  Domestic client duties under CDM are normally passed to the contractor or contractors.   

Domestic projects where there is 1 contractor working on a project 

If there is only 1 contractor (note sub-contractors are counted as separate contractors under CDM) working on a domestic project from start to finish, there are 3 key roles with associated responsibilities, all of which fall on the 1 contractor. 




Client responsibilities:

  • Appoint the right people at the right time
  • Ensure there are arrangements in place for managing and organising the project
  • Allow adequate time
  • Provide information to the designer and contractor
  • Communicate with designer and building contractor
  • Ensure adequate welfare facilities on site
  • Ensure a construction phase plan is in place
  • Keep the health and safety file at the end of the project
  • Protect members of the public, including employees
  • Ensure workplaces are designed correctly
  • Notify the HSE of your construction projects (where necessary)

Note: Where there is only one contractor on a domestic project, the contractor will normally take on the responsibilities of the client by default in addition to their own.

Contractor responsibilities:

  • Ensure a construction phase plan is drawn up before setting up the site
    - BALI members have access to a construction phase plan template; please see documents section at bottom of page
    - The HSE provide a free construction phase plan template; please click here
  • Plan, manage and monitor all work carried out by themselves and their workers taking into account the risks to third parties and the measures needed to protect them
  • Employ or appoint workers with correct skills  skills, knowledge, training and experience to carry out the work
  • Ensure workers have a suitable, site-specific induction
  • Provide appropriate supervision, information and instructions to workers under their control
  • Ensure workers do not start work on site unless reasonable steps have been taken to prevent unauthorised access to the site 
  • Provided welfare facilities from the start for workers under their control, and maintain them throughout the work

Designer responsibilities:

  • Ensure client is aware of client duties under CDM
  • Take account of pre-construction information provided by the client 
  • Identify, eliminate, reduce and control risks in project design. Consider the risks people may be exposed to during construction and use of the building or structure you are designing. 
    - BALI members can download a design risk assessment template from the document section of this page
  • Review design in relation to health and safety of project throughout project
  • Contribute to health and safety file

Domestic projects where there is more than 1 contractor e.g. you and another contractor or designer working on the same project

If there is more than one contractor on a project, a principal contractor (i.e. someone to manage the health and safety risks during the construction phase) must be appointed.  The client will normally advise who they would like to appoint, but if they do not, the role of the principal contractor must be carried out by the contractor in control of the construction phase. As with a single contractor project, the client's duties are passed to the principal contractor.  Click the button below to review the responsibilities of the principal contractor

principal contractor

A designer appointed by the client will have responsibilities under CDM.  Click the button below to review these:


Provision of welfare facilities

All domestic sites require welfare facilities which are 
a) adequate for the number of workers on site 
b) appropriate for the type of work taking place

The provision of welfare facilities is the responsibility of the contractor on projects where only one contractor is on the project, or the principal contractor where there is more than one contractor on site.  The principal contractor must liaise with the other contractors on the project to ensure appropriate facilities are made available and properly maintained.

If the project is on or adjacent to the client's property, welfare facilities belonging to the client may be used - providing permission has been gained from the client.  If permission is refused by the client on a domestic project, alternative arrangements must be made by either the contractor or principal contractor.   

Welfare facilities may include:
- Toilets
- Washing facilities
- Drinking water
- Changing rooms 

Site induction 

Site inductions are required on all domestic construction and landscape construction sites, to all workers and visitors to site.  The reason for this, is to make visitors and workers aware of site-specific rules and hazards.  

The induction should be proportionate to the project and visitor, but may include the following aspects:

- Project history, current stage, and future work programme
- Type of construction being undertake 
- Location of notices
- Description of emergency procedures; alarms, evacuation routes, assembly points, smoking restrictions 
- Submission of skills and training records 
- Key site staff e.f. first aider, fire marshal, supervisor, safety officer, 
- Signing in/out procedures 
- Welfare facilities on site and their location 
- Site rules including drugs and alcohol policy 
- PPE policy and requirements 
- Accident reporting procedure 

The Health and Safety Executive provide a free induction template, please click here

Do the HSE need to be notified of a domestic landscape construction project?

The Health and Safety Executive need only be notified of projects which last more than 30 days and have more than 20 workers at the same time, or exceed 500 person days.  Click here to learn more about the notification process. 




  1. Construction phase plan 28 Oct 2020 61kb DOCX
  2. Design Risk Assessment 4 Nov 2020 58kb DOCX