If you are having work done on your house, you may expect that you can simply let the builders get on with it and you will get a perfect result. Well, it doesn’t always work that way because as the client you will need to get involved in the process – even if it is just by providing cups of tea and decent biscuits! Our list of “don’ts” will help you through the home improvement process and hopefully make it much easier to get the best out of your project.
- Never start a home improvement without having enough money to complete it. Your quote should fairly accurately tell you how much the project will cost, but you should always allow a contingency of at least 10%, to ensure you don’t run out of money before completion of the improvement work
- Don’t go into a home improvement totally blind to how it works. Ask lots of questions, talk to other people who have had similar work done and read websites and even books. Be informed and your builder will appreciate it. You should also know about the building regulations and planning permission requirements as this is your responsibility if your builder fails to get the right permissions
- Try not to change your mind part way through. This will always cost you more money and could add to the time scale. Think carefully about the final result you want and make as many decisions as possible before anything starts
- Don’t pay your invoices late. Your builder should have provided you with a breakdown of when each stage payment is due and they will be relying on that money to progress. If you fail to pay on time, your project could be delayed
- Don’t expect to carry on as usual as there will be disruption. Your home will be dusty, noisy, open the the elements and in an upheaval even if you’re builders do all they can to minimise it. Prepare for the worst with alternatives for washing, cooking and even sleeping if you are having some large work carried out.
- Don’t be afraid to speak out if something seems to be going wrong or you are not happy. If you see something that isn’t right, talk to your builder and see if it can be altered. The earlier you do this the better. If you are at all worried about the quality of the work, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion
- Don’t pay all the money if the job isn’t completely finished. Your builder will understand you keeping back at least 1-3 days snagging money so that you can feel happy that the last minute items will be finished. Unscrupulous builders might just disappear never to be seen again
Oh, and NEVER let the tea caddy run dry!
Now that you’re clear on what not to do when planning an extension or improvements to your home, it would be advisable to read up on best practice advise on what to do. Head over to the house-extension.co.uk extension guide for in depth guidance on how to carry out your improvements.