To have a successful renovation project it is vital you must plan well in advance, stay strictly on schedule and control or maintain your budget. Below are 9 key points to factor in and help you achieve this.
It is understandably easy to focus on your end goal when renovating a project as this tends to be the exciting part where you choose how everything will look. However, it is crucial to focus first on the unseen aspects of how your home will function properly. You must tackle the fundamentals first such as the new windows, any roof or gutting repairs, timber decay a new boiler rewiring and any structural movements, to avoid problems later down the line.
If you begin in autumn for example, the weather will no doubt slow your project down. That does not mean you should not go ahead if your preferred contractors are only available then, but do be prepared to modify your expectations. If you would like to live on site whilst the work is taking place then if may be best to wait until early spring in order to minimise the disruption for your contractors. Whichever time of year you choose to start works, you should always leave additional time in your schedule to manage the expectation of any potential delays before they happen.
The right builders are by no means the ones who give you the cheapest quote. Often it can be the direct opposite. If a particular quote comes in cheaper than the others, you should ask yourself why first. Is it a quote for labour only? If so, bear in mind that materials for even a seemingly modest build can run into many thousands of pounds. Have the builders factored in the cost of jobs like laying floors and fitting kitchens? Don’t be afraid to ask for references and a detailed, broken-down quote so you can compare potential contractors like-for-like.
Make sure you assign responsibilities at the very beginning of a project, You will then be able to relax in the knowledge that everyone is aware what they should be doing and how they should be going about it. It also avoids the need to micro-manage your contractors further down the line.
Above all, trust your builders and project manager and try to speak to them on a daily basis. Once you have commissioned your preferred team, you should maintain your confidence in their ability to complete the job you have hired them to do. Establishing a good channel of communication at the outset is key to a successful project outcome.
Maintain a laser focus on your end goal and avoid getting distracted by unnecessary items during the course of the build. Bear in mind that most projects end up costing more than was planned at the outset, so by factoring a contingency sum into your budget you can mitigate any nasty surprises. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 10 per cent of the project value as a contingency fund, or if the property is older or listed, 20 per cent is not unreasonable.
Talk to your contractor about details, such as light switches, sockets, radiators, taps and bathroom fittings. They may well include a figure for fittings within their quote, but if you want specific things (and it’s likely that you do), you need to communicate this.
Changing your mind mid project, or simply not knowing what you want, will kill your schedule as surely as any other factor. Want to change the size of your windows? You’ll need to file an amendment to your Planning Permission. Even seemingly minor changes, such as changing the position of planned lighting or electrical points, will mean sub-contractors have to return to site. All these changes could have a knock-on effect for other trades, not to mention an increase in costs.
Delayed deliveries are a huge headache during any project, but the fact is they still happen. Don’t rely on back-ordered items becoming available within your preferred time frame. Instead, allow a little give in your schedule to ensure everything is available when individual sub-contractors arrive on site, and speak to your builders well in advance so you are clear on who is ordering what. Obviously, they will take charge of most materials, but if they expect you to purchase the floor tiles, for example, then it’s your responsibility to order the correct amount and to ensure that the tiles arrive on time.
You don’t want to over-order because you don’t want to waste money on surplus materials, right? Well, yes and no. What if you order all the paint for your project, but your decorator needs five per cent more than the quantity probably be a slightly different colour, which will affect the quality of the finish.
If you are ordering surface finishes, such as tiles, flooring or slates, you also need to factor in wastage. This is generally 10 per cent, but it can be as high as 20 per cent if you are using reclaimed materials.
If your builders are planning a holiday mid-project, of course you need to know, but what happens if you plan to be away in the middle of a build? Who will be responsible for making decisions on site? In addition, factories in Europe often wind down for most of August, so again, plan anything that could slow your project down.
Piperhill Construction pride ourselves in being qualified and experienced to undertake all aspects of work; from new build, basement construction, refurbishment, through to fully integrated services and first class designer finishes. Whether working within design and build or traditional contracts, our unfailing aim is to satisfy all of our clients and their consultants requirements and to produce the highest quality finished project
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