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CDM 2015 Confusion

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

There still remains uncertainty regarding the requirements of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, especially in relation to domestic clients and whether or not CDM applies to jobs such as having a new fitted kitchen, roof repairs, having a new bathroom installed, replacement windows etc.

Below is a quick look at an example of how CDM 2015 can apply.

Do the CDM regulations apply to domestic clients?

The short answer is yes, as any home owner who requires construction work to be carried out for them which is not in connection with any business (usually work done on their own home or the home of a family member) will fall under the scope of the CDM regulations.

Although the duty falls onto the client, in reality the duty will be passed onto other dutyholders, as CDM 2015 does not require domestic clients to carry out client duties.

How are domestic clients expected to know about the CDM Regulations?

The regulations do not expect domestic clients to be aware of CDM and have therefore made designers responsible to make sure the client is aware of the client duties under CDM 2015 before starting any design work.

The regulations define designers as an organisation or individual whose business involves preparing or modifying designs for construction projects, or arranging for, or instructing, others to do this. Designs include drawings, design details, specifications, bills of quantity and design calculations.


A private householder decides that they want a new replacement kitchen and call into a kitchen supplier and obtain a brochure which details cabinet sizes and prices.

They decline the “free planning assistance” and decide that they can measure their own kitchen and select whichever units they like to fit into their available space (in effect designing their own kitchen).

The householder is able to go online to order all the units and worktops etc that they have decided upon, for delivery straight to their home.

They decide to have the kitchen installed by a local joiner.

Would this project fall under the requirements of CDM?


If the householder fitted the kitchen themselves, the work would have been classed as DIY and as such the requirements of CDM would not have applied.

However due to the householder employing a local joiner CDM would have applied.

The joiner (contractor) should have informed the householder about the requirements of CDM and should have taken on the domestic client duties as well as their own as a contractor.

Had the householder decided to take advantage of the “free kitchen planning service” offered by the kitchen unit retailer then the retailer would have had the duties imposed by CDM 2015, as clearly they would be “the designer”, whether they were to install the kitchen or not.

Clearly the above is a very simple overview and other aspects would certainly need consideration, such as any gas or electrical works, which may then have involved other contractors and thus other duties under CDM would need to be satisfied.

If you need assistance with the requirements of CDM or any other health and safety issue please contact us directly for a free initial consultation.

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