So you have successfully planned your renovation, well done! That was a lot of work… now you need to actually build it. Whether you are doing some of the work yourself, or engaging a builder to take care of it all, there are a few pitfalls to watch out for.
STEP 4 ENJOY IT
Sounds easy right? Some people enjoy having input into the building process and seeing the construction unfold, others just want the final product. You should try to work out which one you are and organise your construction process accordingly, otherwise you won’t enjoy it one bit.
Those who aren’t trying to enjoy the stress of running a construction site can engage builders, project managers or architects to handle that side of it while they relax by the pool in the Maldives. Even if you must reside there during the process (see step 6: Budget), leaving this responsibility with a professional will almost certainly allow the build to run smoothly and quickly, meaning you can get onto enjoying the spaces sooner.
On the other hand if you do enjoy being a part of the process, time will run a little more slowly anyway, so be sure to take a break if you are ever feeling overwhelmed.
STEP 5 MAKE DECISIONS ONCE
You planned well, but in almost all jobs there are issues or changes which come up, and decisions which need to be made along the way. Every time you must make a decision on which way the door will swing or the width between kitchen benches, be sure that you will stand by it. If you are not sure you will stand by your decision don’t make a call at all, you need to take some time out and think about it with a clear mind. You are not always able to take as long as you would like, but you are far better to reflect on it for half a day than change your mind later, or wish you did.
Changing your mind not only costs you time and money, but it is a very easy way for miscommunications to happen. It is easy to forget which decision was the final one when many different possibilities were discussed as potentials. A builder also has to remember information about the job from many other conversations with engineers, architects and building surveyors too, so be clear in your decision and don’t be afraid to write it down.
STEP 6 PLAN YOUR BUDGET
Planning your budget is especially important when you are doing your own work or owner-building. Those who haven’t worked out their budget from beginning to end of construction are always in for a surprise… rarely a good one. Even on a fixed price contract with a builder the changes you make could be outside of the agreed budget and will incur additional costs. If you are doing your own budget be sure to allow a contingency for ‘unknowns’. On an average sized build this money will almost certainly be used by the time construction is complete.