Step Three

Step Three – Instructing your builder

This is where many members of the public make common mistakes and fall into many of the avoidable pitfalls that are often inconvenient, costly and stressful. We can help you prevent all of this by following our tried and tested process.

Preparing a Programme for the works

We prepare and build a bespoke Programme of Works tailor made for your building project.  We calculate how long each phase of the works will take and produce a report for the builder to work towards.  The programme of works will include which tradesmen are due on site, for what reason and for how long.  It ensures immediate reaction should your project ever fall behind schedule. This could be due to something as simple as inclement weather causing delays to the original time frame.  It may be the builder will have to increase the number of men working on site for a few weeks, to get the project back on track.

It’s important the works run to a programme, as there will be critical dates you will want to achieve, the date when the kitchen is to be delivered and fitted for example.  Working without a programme is working in the dark and will often create delays, additional expense and potentially, unnecessary disputes.

Step Three
Step Three

How much to pay your builder and when you need to make payments

We will also calculate payment schedule to the programme and add this to the schedule so you know how much to pay the builder and at what stages. We recommend you never engage a builder that requests a deposit up front.  Our network builders will all commence on site without a large deposit and are happy to receive weekly payments in-line with the Programme of Works and agreed payment schedule.  Including both documents within the contract with the builder protects you from uncertainty or last minute changes.  If for example, your builder becomes ill or has an accident delaying the build, we can engage another of our network builders, to complete your project with the minimum of disruptions to you.  

We make sure your payment schedule includes an agreed retention at the end of the works and the final payment is made payable to the builder only once all of the snagging has been completed to your satisfaction and you are in receipt of your building regulation completion certificate.

The due diligence report to ring fence your quotation before commencement

Our vast experience within the building industry has taught us the importance of anticipating the unexpected so we instruct your builder to complete our due diligence tasks and submit a report of their findings, to enable us to complete a risk assessment of your project.

The findings may mean we must amend the design to accommodate for changes in areas such as footings, foundations and underground drainage etc. Many potential alterations to your project that can be identified at this early stage before contacts are signed can save you stress, time and money later in the project, usually claimed by the builders as extras to the contract. Our experience and intervention will help to protect you from making costly mistakes that we can anticipate on your behalf. This prevents costly extras once eating into your budget.

Step Three
Step Three

Material Matching

There is little worse than investing time and effort to get your design just right and then handing it over to a builder who fails to put as much effort into the build, as you did with the design. Most planning applications do state that new materials are to match existing as near as possible.  We ensure that the builder matches the new bricks, mortar and roofing tiles / slates with your existing property.

By checking materials that the builder is proposing to use, before they are ordered, we can achieve as perfect a match as possible.  A builder may order the exact brick as the property was originally constructed in but this may not be the best match for your property, as your original brick has likely weathered over a period of time. We insist on seeing physical samples of the materials the builder is proposing to use so you can hold them against the existing property to ensure you are getting the best match possible.  It is just as important to agree a mortar match with the existing property. Often, even when the brick work is matched, the mortar matching process has been forgotten.  There are many dyes on the market to enable your builder to accurately match the mortar as well and we will work with him/her to get the best possible result.

Complying with the Party Wall Act

We also check whether your project needs to comply with the Party Wall Act and that all of the notices and acknowledgements are served correctly and on time, to your neighbour or neighbours.  Party Wall Act Compliance is usually required when you are working on a boundary wall or excavating near to your neighbour’s property.  Failure to comply with the act can cause disputes with your neighbours, unnecessary delays, inconvenience and can be very costly if not actioned correctly.

We pay reference to the Party Wall Act but would recommend you download our PDF headed the Party Wall Act for further information.

Step Three

Who needs to insure what and when?

We request written evidence that your builders’ Public Liability insurance is in force and ask you to contact your home insurers, as most home policies have a clause that you notify them if you intend to carry out major home improvements. Failure to comply with this could mean invalidate your insurance. Quite often your insurers will send you a form for you complete and return to comply with the policy terms. We are happy to assist in filling in the form on request. If your insurers do not use this procedure, email them with the information and ask them to confirm that you will be insured for the duration of the works.

Step Three
Step Three

Health and Safety requirements and complying with CDM 2015

We request written evidence that your builders’ Public Liability insurance is in force and ask you to contact your home insurers, as most home policies have a clause that you notify them if you intend to carry out major home improvements. Failure to comply with this could mean invalidate your insurance. Quite often your insurers will send you a form for you complete and return to comply with the policy terms. We are happy to assist in filling in the form on request. If your insurers do not use this procedure, email them with the information and ask them to confirm that you will be insured for the duration of the works.

The legal contract between you and the builder

Only now that we know all of these tasks are complete, do we prepare a legally binding contract for you and your builder to sign.  This will cover all aspects of your build and ensure you are protected for the whole of your building project.

Step Three

Are Bricks and Pieces still involved once the works commence?

Only now that we know all of these tasks are complete, do we prepare a legally binding contract for you and your builder to sign.  This will cover all aspects of your build and ensure you are protected for the whole of your building project.

Step Three

What happens if we want the builder to undertake additional work?

You may decide you would like additional work carried out after the contracts have been signed that were not included in the original scope of the contracted works. We have a standard procedure to ensure extra work is quoted and approved, initially by ourselves and them yourselves before the builder is given the go ahead. This way, your financial records are constantly updated and you remain in control of the project costings and your budget.

Design, planning and building regulations.

Things to do before with our help before you approach builders.

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