Project managing major alterations to the home

For some people, the challenge of project managing the renovations or alterations to their own property is one that they relish whereas others may feel that tackling this task may be beyond their knowledge and skills and they take it on purely to save money. It certainly should not be embarked on lightly and having tradespeople that are reliable and trustworthy will definitely make things run more smoothly. Always ask for references from tradespeople and if possible visit sites that they have worked on previously and speak to clients.

It is essential at the outset to set a realistic budget for the work to be done and to add ten percent for any contingencies. Getting quotes based on an accurate schedule of work ensures that like for like comparisons can be made between different builders and the more detailed the schedule the more accurate the price will be. Remember to make your plans fit your budget not the other way round to avoid going way over budget and having to cut corners towards the end of the project.

Before any alteration work starts it is important to check whether any planning permission is needed and if so how to go about getting this. An experienced builder will usually be able to advise the homeowner on this issue and recommend an architect if necessary. Do not be tempted to do any works without the required permission as it can be costly at a later date to put things right.

Planning the timing of work to be done is a tricky issue as some work needs to be completed in a specific order especially concerning electrical or plumbing work that involves first fix and then later after plastering has been completed, second fix. Research will need to be done or advise asked of the builder to ensure there are no holdups in building progress.

It is inevitable that there will be hiccoughs along the way but most of these small problems can be overcome and so it is important if you are to manage the project successfully that you do not panic and plan carefully how to proceed.

In order to keep tradespeople on side it is a good idea to provide a kettle and even tea and coffee so that they can get a drink during the day, it will be appreciated and may help the project to run a little more smoothly if you are lucky.