CDM and Domestic Clients – The Lowdown

CDM and Domestic Clients – The Lowdown

03rd June 2019

The Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) are the main set of regulations for managing the health, safety and welfare of construction projects.  If you own one of the UK’s many small to medium construction companies that operates mainly on small domestic projects, you may think that CDM 2015 doesn’t affect or apply to you, but nothing could be further from the truth!  Despite the fact that CDM 2015 replaces the CDM 2007 version in which domestic projects were exempt from notification, this changed when the new regulations came into force in April of 2015 and CDM 2015 applies in full to domestic projects now. 

There are still some exceptions, but domestic projects are generally now treated the same as any other construction project, albeit with some subtle differences in how a domestic client is treated.  The first consideration is now to define a CDM domestic client – you cannot just assume that any client on every residential project is a domestic client.  Under CDM 2015, a domestic client is somebody who is having work done that is not connected to any business.  This usually means that a domestic client is somebody having work done on their own home, or on the home of a family member.  CDM 2015 states the following:

"domestic client" means a client for whom a project is being carried out which is not in the course or furtherance of a business of that client;

For instance, having a kitchen remodelled or an extension built as a playroom for the kids means the client would be classed as a domestic client.  However, having a home office built or an extension as a playroom for childminding purposes means the client would not be classed as domestic.  Likewise, having a home built in which to live means the client would be classed as domestic, whereas having a home built in order to rent it out or sell it on completion means that the client is not classed as domestic.

This clearly demonstrates that a residential construction project is not always classed as a domestic project and a client on a residential project is not always classed as a domestic client.  Although this may seem confusing, if you remember that if the work is being carried out on the client’s own home and is not in connection with a business, then the client is classed as a domestic client.

However, domestic clients are treated differently under CDM and, although their duties must still be carried out, these duties are transferred to other members of the project team.  We’ll be explaining how in more detail next week so if you want to make sure you don’t miss out on this vital information which makes, why not follow us on Facebook or Twitter and get a heads-up when the article is published?