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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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The Scheme: construction operations: floor coverings (for example, carpets)

CISR14600 Action guide contents

The fitting of carpets, linoleum, vinyl sheeting and other forms of floor covering is not a construction operation when carried out in isolation, that is, when done in a situation that does not also involve construction work. The fitting of floor coverings may be subject to the Construction Industry Scheme, however, when this is specified as a finishing operation in a wider project of construction.

Nowadays it is common for building specifications presented to a ‘main contractor’ to require not only that the mainstream construction work be carried out but also that a particular kind of floor covering be fitted as part of the project. This operation therefore ‘renders complete’ the mainstream construction work and, subject to the type of floor covering, may be within the scope of CIS (FA04/S74 (2)(f)).

Broadly, the fitting of all forms of floor covering included in the specification of a building undergoing construction, alteration or repair is caught by CIS but the exception is carpeting. A Statement of Practice (SP12/81) provides that carpet fitting (but no other floor covering) is regarded as excluded from the Scheme even where it is included in the building specifications.

Note Carpeting will be caught where it forms part of a mixed contract, for example, the subcontractor is required to fit laminate flooring and fit carpeting under a single contract.


You may receive representations from businesses involved in installing synthetic surfaces in sports grounds and gymnasiums that the material used is ‘carpeting’ and therefore excluded from CIS. Such claims should be rejected on the basis that the Statement of Practice was intended to apply to materials falling within the ordinary meaning of the word ‘carpet’.

Within CIS

  • fitting vinyl, linoleum, stripwood and laminate flooring and other forms of floor covering where carried out as part of a wider project of construction
  • installation of synthetic surfaces in sports grounds, gymnasia and children’s play areas.

Excluded from CIS

  • carpet fitting in all circumstances if it is not part of a mixed contract
  • fitting of carpet tiles
  • fitting vinyl, linoleum and other forms of floor covering where not carried out as part of a wider project of construction.