5 Top Tips for Getting the Best From Your Builders
by Bishop's Move, 24 April 2019
If you are renovating your home then it is more than likely you will have hired builders or tradesmen to do certain jobs you are not confident with. When you are undertaking a big project like an extension, then you are more than likely to have builders in your home for several weeks or months carrying out the work. One of the biggest concerns people have when hiring builders is how long the work will take and how much of an inconvenience it might be. Well, it is important to plan ahead for this and make sure you are happy with the amount of work it will take. However, we have 5 top tips for getting the best from your builders and how you can make sure things run as smoothly as possible.
1. Check Your Builder Has Insurance
One of the first things that you should do when choosing a builder is to make sure that you vet them beforehand to make sure they are reliable. This is a mistake that many people make as they work off recommendations but don’t actually research the builder they are hiring. You should always make sure that your builder has public liability insurance in case anything goes wrong during the build. For example, an accident with gas could leave you liable to pay for damages as you have instructed the builder to do the work. You can ask your builder whether they have this when you receive the quote and they should be able to provide a certificate, this helpful guide explains more about this process.
2. Plan a Schedule for the Project
Make sure that you plan a schedule for the project at the start so you have a good idea of how long it will take. Your builder will give you an idea of how long it will take but get detailed plans on each stage of the project. This means that should something overrun you will know what stage of the build you are at and if you need to plan for more time. Once you have an itemised list and an idea of how long things will take, you will be a lot more relaxed on the progress of your build. You should also make a note of anything the builder needs you to do and when you need to get this done so you can keep on top of it.
3. Stagger Your Payments
You should always keep around 10-20% of the final bill back for contingency and speak to your builder about staggering payments. Many builders are happy to stagger payments on a build as it can be expensive and takes a long time. You will, of course, have to pay some money up front so that your builders can get started on the work but you should discuss this. It is important to account for extra costs along the way as problems might arise and require additional or different materials. Staggering your payments can also help you to plan costs and save some more money during the build should you need it.
4. Consider a Project Manager
Although this might seem like an unnecessary expense, it can actually make a lot of sense to opt for a project manager. If your build requires a lot of coordination and you don’t have the time to dedicate to the project, then you might be advised to appoint a project manager to handle these tasks. If you need to order materials or machinery to the building site, a project manager can take charge of these things and make sure that everything is on schedule so you are not holding up the builders. The builder might also suggest handling things like this so it is worth consulting with them to see exactly what is expected from both parties.
5. Allow for Snagging
Something that people don’t consider or know about is a “snagging” period following the build. This is not an official term but often involves a period of around a fortnight to one month after the builders have finished for you to inspect the work and live with it in case you spot any minor faults or things that need repairing. If your builder doesn’t suggest this then you should as it gives you plenty of time to inspect the work that has been carried out and make sure you are happy with everything before paying. You should save around 5% for this and pay the final part of the bill after the period when you are happy with the work.