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Top Ten Tips on Self Renovation

October 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Category: Remodeling Contractor



Make sure all of the consents are in place:

No work can take place without planning permission. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland it is possible to start work without Building Regulations approval. However, an application must be lodged and 48 hours’ notice given in writing. Any necessary easements must be negotiated before the commencement of work.

Make sure you’ve got insurances and warranties sorted out:

Building anything without the right site insurance is folly. You need Contractors’ All Risk, and Employers’ and Public Liability. Most people wanting a mortgage will be required to have a warranty but even those who do not may find that it is advisable for peace of mind. Gear up the inspectors well in advance.

Get quotations from utilities for supply:

Service providers can take an inordinately long time to provide quotations for their supply. Most sites can do without gas or electricity until the later stages but very few can do without water. When you get the quotation, try to stick to their programme as any interruption can lead to long delays.

Create a proper access onto site and a hardstanding:

It’s essential that lorries are able to get to your site, unload and get away. If this means that a temporary access needs to be formed then so be it. If necessary, stone an area for deliveries and hardstanding. Think further afield from the site to narrow lanes and low or weak bridges.

Arrange for secure and dry storage:

Many materials need to be stored in the dry, and perhaps the best and most secure lockups are the metal shipping containers that can either be hired or purchased. Self-build sites are not a magnet for thieves but it makes sense to have security fencing to prevent casual theft or children getting access.

Make sure the proper drawings are on site:

As any project progresses, the drawings will be amended. Make sure that everybody on site has the latest drawings and make a point of collecting up and destroying all obsolete plans. If you find labour trying to work from wet or illegible plans, replace them with new ones.

Check the lead-in times for various supplies:

Some materials have very long lead-in times and as continuity is the key to a successful project, you will need to factor in these delays and order well in advance. Keep a check on progress and if the deliveries are going to be delayed, warn those on site well in advance.

Go and see previous work by subcontractors or builders before contracting:

Any man’s as good as his last job and in order to judge whether you’re employing the right people, you need to check back to look at their previous work and talk to their previous clients. Always ask for references and don’t be afraid to check up on them.

Agree lump-sum prices wherever possible:

You don’t want the costs to be an open cheque book. Always insist on a lump-sum price for all of the work either by a builder or a subcontractor. When you’ve got that, get their measured rates and their daywork rates so that you have a basis for the payment of extras.

Make sure your cash flow matches your expected program:

Builders will probably need payment as they reach certain construction stages. Subcont – ractors may well require cash on a weekly basis. Make sure you don’t pay upfront for work being done. Equally make sure that your finances allow for prompt payment at the expected times. Otherwise you’ll have an empty site.


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