Domestic projects

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 only 1 contractor 

If there is only 1 contractor (note sub-contractors are also counted as separate contractors under CDM) working on a project from start to finish, there are 3 key roles:

  • Client 



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.

Client responsibilities:

  • Allow sufficient time and money for contract to be carried out safely
  • Employ a reputable contractor 

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
    - 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 reposnsibilities:

  • 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 working on the same site or a designer

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: