Renovation Top 5 Tips: Part 2

Starting your renovation project is both an exciting and worrying time. In case you missed it we posted on this before with 5 renovation tipsWe decided that it wasn't enough so here are 5 more tips to help get you started in making it go right. Don't forget if you have any questions, Just use the comment section below and we will be happy to answer you. 

1. Don't compromise on the basics 

Get the 'infrastructure' right - in other words, the services like electrical and plumbing. Don't compromise on the quality of the re-wiring and plumbing of your renovation. If you get a leak because the pipe work is faulty, you will ruin your new flooring. Don't let that happen to you. Get the basics done right! 

2. Communicate with the contractor 

Communication is really important on any renovation project. You might set your project up really well. You might have made all your design decisions and know exactly what you're doing. If you don't communicate with your builder on site as often as possible in a proactive and positive way, the renovation project will drift. Asking who's on site, what's being done, what's been delivered? They will then be kept on their toes, even if they brush you off a little bit. You've got to be on their back in the nicest possible way. 

3. Ensure your contract is watertight

If you can get your contractor to agree on a penalty clause, great. If you're doing a big project like a complete home renovation, you've got the power to get one. So many small contractors just won't do it. They will think you're getting off on the wrong foot. If you have found someone highly recommended and you've visited their former clients, you shouldn't need one. Yes insist on a penalty clause but in the real world you might lose a good contractor to another job. If they're a reputable, established contractor, they don't want to do a bad job or get a bad reputation. 

4. Allow for problems on a renovation project 

If you've got a fixed price you've got peace of mind and you're not going to be spending any more money. If your contractor's got reasonable cause for delay. he maybe waiting for the Water Board to do something before he can finish the plumbing. He may have to demonstrate that he needs to charge you a little more money. This would be normal but make sure that paying extra is justified. If you are behind on the renovation don't compromise on the finish. Don't push him too hard at the end. It comes down to communication good relationship with your builder to be reasonable and to understand the problems that they have. Accept any overruns to get the finish that you want. Allow them extra time to finish properly. Once you've got through that stage of renegotiated delays, you've got your snagging list. 

5. Keep a retention on a renovation project 

At the end of the renovation job, keep minimum five per cent retention. Even when your builder thinks he's finished the job make sure you do your snagging list. If you've got an architect, he would normally do that for you. This retention should clearly be in the contract and will specify that the builder is to put right any defective works. Once the job is finished you need to go around and make a note of anything not properly completed as per your contract (IE, to a reasonable standard) - taps are loose, the bath has no silicone around the edges, etc. He then has to agree to it and then do the work. This is how it should happen if you've got a good contract.

This is the simple basis of any building contract. If he won't put things right, you've got every right to get someone else in and not to pay him this money. These tips will help you get the best possible result from your renovation project. There is nothing more frustrating than having it go wrong. Trust me I know.

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