If you are planning on undertaking a project at home you may want to consider the following key things to help keep things running smoothly and to schedule. We’ve all heard the nightmare stories of kitchen refurbs and loft conversions over running by weeks on end haven’t we? Well, whether you are planning a new bathroom or a sash window renovation, here are four fundamental things that will help you avoid delays and keep your purse strings tight.
Consider production lead times
When undertaking any self-build or renovation it will pay to be proactive and to constantly think ahead; to think about what comes next and what comes later down the line. Some materials are off-the-shelf so they are straight forward to acquire. However, some will have longer lead times and need ordering well in advance. Here at Wandsworth Sash Windows we have a 12-week lead time from the time of order, which often means customers having to think about finishes at the same time as being involved in preliminary site works.
Make sure you are aware of the sequence of events within your project so you can think ahead as to requirements for up and coming labour. A helpful tradesperson may let you know that they will be requiring a follow-on trade, especially as they won’t want to be held up by their non-appearance. But, you can’t just rely on their good will alone, it is your responsibility to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be at the right time. Failing to think ahead will often lead to breaks in the timeline and that will, inevitably, lead to an increase in costs and lots of frustration on all parts. In short, know from your builder at the beginning of the project what the lead times for things are and what order things will happen in so you can plan accordingly and avoid costly delays (which will be vital if you are having to rent whilst the work is being completed).
Communication is king
Most arguments that occur on site between client and tradesperson result from unclear or miscommunicated arrangements and expectations before the job commences. Your list of what you expect may be fully detailed in many cases, but in others, it is perhaps best to simply include the whole trade in your description of what you are expecting or requiring. For example, if you are having lights fitted in your extension followed by a new kitchen installation, who’s responsibility is it to wire up your new hob and extraction unit? The electrician that has been and gone since their work on your extension or the kitchen fitter? Make sure at the very onset that you make it clear who is going to be responsible for what, as you don’t want to have to pay for an unnecessary return visit.
Make sure you include who is responsible for clearing up too – another grey area between trades. Often, one tradesperson (say a plasterer) follows on from another tradesperson (say an electrician). After the plasterer has finished his work and left the property, the electrician arrives to find that the plasterer may not have prepared the areas around the sockets correctly and will refuse to proceed until the plasterer has returned to do more work – a costly, return trip that could have been avoided. Make sure that a tradesperson knows what finish you expect and ensure that they don’t cut corners. Proactivity is key – don’t assume trades will communicate amongst themselves.
Find the right builder
Word of mouth and customer reviews are always a great endorsement when it comes to reliability and trustworthiness of a builder or tradesperson. Failing that, check out this handy guide to help you find a reliable builder that is right for your project.
So, remember to know your lead times (your builder will not appreciate being told to ‘go quicker’ when it is beyond his control!), communicate your project aims clearly and communicate changes and plans to everyone that has a part in the project to avoid unnecessary spend and timely delay. Manage your expectations and work with a builder you can trust – the majority of our work here at Wandsworth Sash Windows is from word of mouth recommendation.
We are always on the end of the line to chat through customer’s questions so don’t be afraid to give us a call on 020 3582 762, email email@example.com or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you ASAP.