Building Law

Things to ask your builder before you start a project

For most people building a home or renovating is a massive financial and emotional investment. You want to get it right first time so read on as I look at some key points to remember about building that should see you in good stead when the sledgehammer’s start flying.

Number one. Make sure whichever builder you choose is a fully licensed and insured residential builder. It sound obvious but I have seen many people simply choose a builder based on a vague recommendation that they later find out was not qualified to carry out the project. If things go wrong you want to be sure that the builder has sound insurance to cover any potential mistakes – otherwise you will be paying the bill.

Ensure your legal building contract is watertight and does not have any loopholes that may come back to haunt you. If you have concerns, speak with a lawyer or solicitor that has experience with property/building law.

Make a detailed schedule to limit the chances of a project going over time and cost. Most people think this simply involves setting a start and end date, however it require a little more depth than this. Make sure you devise a task list and completion date for each and keep a record of what is actually happening building wise to see if you slipping behind schedule. Also, it’s a good idea to keep you own record of what trades people are on site on each day, to make sure they align with the overall schedule as it can be very important to have certain trades working before others.

Ask the builder how they will protect your valuable property. Make sure you have this discussion before walls start tumbling down and you home is covered in dust. There are many dust reduction solutions that can be used, such as using plastic sheets to cordon off areas of the house and high powered vacuums to beat dust before it settles. If you are really worried, its best to remove books, objects or paintings before work starts.