So you have your architectural design drawings approved by the council both by planning and building control. The next stage is to get it tendered and built by a fairly priced, reliable builder, this I’m afraid is when the difficulty increases. You have to weigh up the cost against quality and you need to know exactly what will happen should thing not go according to plan. I have put together this simple guide for those who are new to the building process and what to look out for.
Personality may not seem too important, but having your home renovated and rebuilt is a major invasion of your life. You will likely be put in a position to ask difficult questions, ask yourself how your appointed person will react. They will be in a position of trust with your home and family for a good few months, how you can interact with them is very important
Estimates are fine off drawings without too much detail and when they are a lot of variables or certain layouts etc have not yet been finalised. However you need a firm quotation prior to appointing any builder.
Don’t let the builder cost for the best case scenario then hit you with extra’s once the build is underway, have as much in writing as possible. It is very hard to negotiate once you have holes in your garden, the control then goes to the builder. Ask as many questions as you can about the service you will receive, time scales and who will actually be turnign up to do the work.
Your quotation should have a full breakdown of the job and all attributed costs from approved detail/building regulations drawings. The drawing will contain a full construction specification and dimensioned drawings. You will have checked them over in detail and have the accompanying approval letters to go with them at the correct revision. Some variants cannot be accounted for on the drawings and so should been indicated as too how much they cost as drawn and should they need additional work or materials how much this will cost. Things such as drainage and foundations may require additional work once uncovered. See how the quotation is presented and laid out, if the information is lacking detail, time and effort what does that say about the man who wrote it?
Ensure this is detailed, with all allowance and costs for additional works priced for. Payment should typically be in 4 stages on minor works up to £50,000 30% when the materials arrive on site, 30% at pan height/roof finished and 30% on satisfactory completion and then 10% is retained for 6 weeks payable once all building certificates are in place.
Finally get as many quotes as you have time to and ask as many questions as you can to be fully informed about the entire building process and the person you may appoint. Consider that smaller cheaper firms may be balancing more than one job at the time and not have the same resources to fall back on if their project management skills let them down!
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