June 2017


Having work carried out on your home can be made easier by selecting a reliable contractor and getting satisfactory answers to all your questions and concerns. This does not have to be a stressful, complicated process from beginning to end, here are some helpful hints and advice to make your building or renovation experience as smooth as possible!

Guarantee the works you have carried out

Select a builder who is fully insured and guarantees the works in writing and insist on a contract. Hold back (retention clause) an agreed % of the total contract price for an agreed period of time following completion of works as set out by the contract. At the end of the retention period the builder then can return to survey the works with you and if necessary carry out any repairs (e.g. filling cracks to plaster work and re decorating). Put everything in writing if something goes wrong you will have something to fall back on other than the retention clause.

Be clear on what you would like

Before you decide to undertake a building project, be sure you are clear on what you want. Remember changes in the middle of a project can cause delays and incur more costs. Obtain at least two quotes from your choice of builders. Having builders working at your property day after day requires understanding of the project's time frame and good communication. Explain what you expect and how you would like things done and agree a reasonable work schedule for the project to be completed on time.

Paying for your project

The building company you select should propose a payment schedule to be part of the contract. If you are borrowing money to pay for your project you will need to ensure that your money is available to meet the stage payments. Preparing the financial aspects to meet payment schedule is important as failure to pay an invoice may result in loss of confidence, and may jeopardise the smooth running of the works schedule and the project could be suspended until payment is received. At the end of the day, a building project is a two way affair; you trusting the building company with your property and wishes, and they are trusting you to meet their payments on time. During the project stage payments can be made to the builder for works that have been inspected & completed as per the stage payments agreed and attached to the contract.

Health, Safety and Security

A building project is exciting however can be full of potential hazards, the building company you select should strive to keep the site clean and tidy at all times to avoid the prospect of accident or injury. Health and safety standards are important and need to be respected. A major concern while carrying out home improvements or building, is working in a property where children are present. They may enjoy seeing the builders at work and may want to join in. Children should be kept away from any works and tools. Building regulations adhered to important and sound criteria and your project may require visits by a building inspector. Only certified trade people should carrying out wiring, gas and heating works or repairs. Ensure that the site is secure and if unoccupied during the project entry to the site should to be secured against possible intrusion. Scaffolding should be secured at the end of each work day.

If you are reading this and have concerns about how the building project is being managed or run, tell someone as soon as possible.

Should you have any questions or queries regarding a current or future building project please contact us, we're more than happy to discuss.