Tag Archives: builders

10 Renovation Tips you need to know

If you’re planning to renovate your home on a grand scale, it’s not uncommon to feel intimidated about the attention required to ensure a successful project finishes as you wanted it.

It may not be a problem for those of us who are moving at a manageable pace, completing room by room, but for those of tackling the entire establishment, sticking to schedule is key.

Top 10 home renovating tips

Here are 10 top tips you need to consider for your renovation:

  1. Try not to go on holiday leaving builders or workers on site to handle your project. If you managing the project yourself, you need to demonstrate your presence to ensure that build pace and concentration does not drop. Mistakes cost money to correct.
  2. Don’t compromise – If this renovation is for your own home, you need to remember that you will be living in it after completion, not the builders. This applies to both materials and build methods.
  3. If you’ve never managed a project with a scale such as this, try to get someone involved alongside you who has. Project management is a full time job and you can’t afford to lose your way.
  4. Watch your bank balance and keep track of all building costs weekly. When an invoice pops up make sure you pay it as soon as possible and file away the receipt safely. Utilise spreadsheets so you can keep an eye on the running costs throughout the project.
  5. Schedule the entire project and make sure your workers are keeping on track, meeting deadlines or preceding them if at all possible. This way your project moves efficiently whilst everyone knows what they are doing and when.
  6. Keep in constant contact with your foreman ensuring they have everything they need on site, when they need it. There’s no need for “We didn’t finish this because we didn’t have this.”

    Planning is key!

    Planning is key!

  7. Double check the specification of all products, appliances and materials before work begins on the site. Ensure everything is ordered and delivered to site on time – You simply won’t have time to be waiting around for a particular part to arrive due to delays etc.
  8. Trade discount can be your best friend when used properly – Pressure your suppliers to give you the best possible prices, ensuring that you visit multiple merchants comparing the best deals.
  9. Set up a trading account with the building merchant that you decide to use. Organising one at the beginning of your project means that you’ll qualify for trade discounts whilst making it easier for your site foreman to order extra materials should he need them.
  10. Get involved – This is your project at the end of the day. You can save money doing parts of the project that you feel comfortable completing, such as painting, digging or even sanding!

For more innovative ideas and expert advice, why not grab a copy of George Clarke’s latest book “The Home Bible” – An endless resource of information you should really know before starting any project. Click below for more information:

Trust the Trustmark?

If your looking for a trader to complete some work on an upcoming project, be it a builder for your new extension or plumber for your bathroom renovation, be sure to look out for the TrustMark approval icon. TrustMark is a government backed trade approval body from which some 30 schemes operate including the Federation of Master Builders or the National Federation of Home Improvement. Any firm found on the publicly available database found on www.trustmark.org.uk, has had its work and financial status regularly checked. They even support a user-friendly complaints procedure should you need to raise any points after work completion.

Be weary however, as the TrustMark is by no means a guarantee that your project will run smoothly. TrustMark states that necessary checks are made on registered companies regularly, however small print shows that checks are carried out by a roster of “approved scheme operators” and may not necessarily be up to date. TrustMark also relies very much on some trade bodies carrying out checks themselves – and there is anecdotal evidence around of some homeowners who have relied on TrustMark only to find themselves caught in dispute.

The key to using the TrustMark is to be realistic with any expections you may have.  It also provides a great place to start when looking for a realible source of traders names who are more than likely to be reliable, but it shouldn’t be seen a quick way of selecting a trader and getting work started as soon as possible. Be weary to ensure that you get the bathroom of your dreams or that extension you’ve been waiting for without any hiccups.

Source: Homebuilding Magazine