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keeping your builder – An essential guide

An essential guide to keeping your builder

Once you have been through your detailed tender process and found the right builder that suits your project, your project is important to him, but equally his craftsmanship and expertise are just as, if not more, important to you. In light of this, keeping your builder or contractor happy is an important factor throughout the duration of your project. These are a few simple steps that should help you maintain a good working relationship.

Use a Contract

This is an essential document that can either be produced by you, the end user/client or your contractor/builder. It outlines the extent of the works that your contractor/builder has agreed to complete on your behalf, in return for an agreed fee.

Additional works over and above the original scope of works can be documented and recorded throughout the works and appended to the over-all contract as the works progress. This forms a useful point of reference, should any disputes arise during the contract period.

The contract will protect you in the event of anything going wrong, and documents everything to provide both parties with peace of mind. JCT contracts https://www.jctltd.co.uk/ offer the most popular jargon-free contracts for home owners.

Pay on Time

If works have been completed and payments raised by the contractor/builder, pay promptly at each stage. This coincides with set payment terms which should be agreed at day one between yourself and your contractor/builder, i.e. whether you will be making stage payments, weekly payments, etc – and this will also be detailed in your contract.

Never Pay Upfront

It’s common practice for builders/contractors to ask for a very small percentage of the overall project upfront in order to secure a slot in their busy diaries. Scheduled payment terms should be clearly detailed within the initial contract and be in proportion to works carried out on site. Paying for work not yet carried out is a recipe for disaster and any request by a contractor/builder for labour payments upfront might be a sign he’s in financial trouble.

Don’t Change Your Mind

It’s a common fact that client’s change their mind as works progress, even with best endeavours being made at the early design stages, there may be the need to change things at a site level, if this is the case, document any changes, ask your builder/contractor to provide a price for the works prior to implementing, so that you are fully aware of any uplift costs from your original budget. If necessary, speak with your Architect/designer about the changes and discuss anticipated costs.

Communicate

One of the most important factors in a project. Maintain regular communication with your contractor/builder via face to face meetings, phone calls, text messages and if necessary, email and written correspondence.

If there are any changes from the original brief that accumulate additional costs, make sure there is a chain of correspondence from both you and your builder so that these can be referenced at a later date, if required.

Be mindful not to hinder your builders work on site with consistent questions and dialogue, but at the same time ensure that you are up to date with progress and ensure that both parties are happy.

A good relationship will ensure the job runs smoothly, your builder is happy, and you too are content with works and progress on site, work is kept up at a good pace and any unexpected works/elements are dealt with in the most professional manner.

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