Now you have a set of drawings and a list of what will and won't be included, often known as a ‘schedule of works’, you are ready to find a builder. Here's our top tips for working well with your builder.
1. FIND A RECOMMENDED BUILDER
The best way to find an established builder is through recommendation by family, friends or neighbours. Check out their work. If they're good builders and they believe in their reputation, they'll be more than happy for you to go and see their projects. We were very lucky that our builder was a longtime friend of my husbands (Master Build and Design).
When you first contact a builder its a good idea to share pictures to clearly communicate what you’re trying to achieve. Try sharing a Houzz or Pinterest idea book.
2. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL - GET A CONTRACT
Make sure everything is agreed in writing beforehand, including everything you would like done, i.e. supply of materials, safe removal and disposal of waste, snagging and ‘making good’ after all the work is finished.
Adding in last minute ideas can result in your costs spiralling,
Set a payment schedule for instalments to be paid as parts of the project are completed. Never hand over large sums of money up front. It is usual to hold back a small amount of the overall contract value (5%) to cover snagging at the end of the project (this should be detailed in the contract).
Clear away everything from the site and ensure children and pets stay away while the build is in progress. Make sure you agree start and finish times, as well as which facilities the builders can use in your home. I.e. you may wish to hire a portaloo.
Building work can be disruptive - let your neighbours know exactly what’s going to be happening, how long you think the work will last and if the builders might need to gain access their property. If your neighbours don’t want your builders on their property make sure you let your builder know.
4. COMMUNICATION IS KING
It's important to be on site regularly (ideally every day) and agree to meet your builder at regular intervals to review progress and go over the decisions to be made. It’s natural to change your mind about certain aspects of the build, but make sure you communicate the changes to as soon as you can. Get an amended quote before you confirm you’d like to go ahead.
myCasa tip: Use a site book to record decisions made between you and your builder. The book stays on site, making it a handy reference tool for the builders team
myCasa tip: We put drawings and pictures on the walls whilst the build was underway and emailed these to our builder, ensuring we were all working from the same page.
Look out for the next installation of my blog STEP 7 The Build