I was having a coffee with Sadia from Lifestyle Design + Build last week and the conversation moved on to the most common mistakes she’s seen in her years working in the design and build field. In the ended the coffee turned in to a brainstorm and we came up wit these five top tips, hope they’re useful!
1. Choosing the right architect who understands your requirements and provides good architects drawings.
In our experience clients who have no detailed drawings and want to save money on costings end up paying more in time & money. We took over a job last year in Battersea where a client sacked the old builders as they were not following written instructions and there was no control. They hired us to complete and we had to go back to the drawing board!
2. Spending time on details prior to starting the building work. This will avoid any changes i.e. electrics or plumbing which can add to your bill.
Lighting is an essential part and you can only decide on positions once you have an idea of the layout of the room. A lighting layout plan approved and signed by both parties can save you again time & money. It saves the chasing of walls on second fixings which we all know can happen in projects which are rushed through!
3. Ensuring there is a deadline clause for completion with the building company to avoid delays.
How many people have complained about the delay in the building works ?? There are always a few funerals and bad weather which delays the builders! Having a completion date set out in contract with a penalty clause gets them working hard on deadlines.
4. If the building company is supplying products ensure you agree beforehand what products have been agreed.
It is not always wise to choose the cheapest building quote. It all depends what you are being charged for. It is always best to keep the building work costs separate from the products. You have more time and flexibility to choose the products and add or deduct items accordingly.
5. Any changes or additional costs are agreed in writing.
While refurbishing your home you may change your mind about e.g. the layout of the bathroom or a radiator. Please ensure these changes are agreed in writing and amount has been discussed.
We have had some instances where the husband has said something in the morning and the wife has come the next day and overruled ! It is vital to keep track in writing and e-mail all parties concerned as it can lead to big argument between the couple not to mention the cost.