These last few weeks we have been looking at our processes, in an attempt to document exactly what we each do on a daily basis, and put some firm guidelines and expectations in place for future staff members. Coincidentally, I asked my ‘Women who Work In The Construction Industry’ Facebook group, if that had any questions they would like answered around their trades, or the running of their businesses, and the first question was around what the process looks like from accepting the builders quote to the start of the job. The answer to this question will be of benefit to other small business owners, as well as our clients. So let’s get to it.
You’ve received your builders quote, you are happy and ready to engage, but what happens next?
First up, the builder will need to draft a contract and building schedule, once this draft is generated usually (and its good business practice) the builder will send out a draft copy of the contract and building schedule for the client to thoroughly read through. This is a great time to clarify any misunderstandings, ask any questions and generally be sure as a consumer about the legal document you are about to sign. Once you have approved the draft, the builder will generate the final copy ready for the builder and yourself to sign.
*Hint, be sure that the building schedule correctly outlines all expected inclusions and allowances.
Upon signing your contract and building schedule, you will be required to pay a deposit. This deposit is used by the builder to get you job started, from sourcing building approvals to site set up, the deposit will set your job on its way.
*Hint, the deposit can legally be no more than 10% of the contract price for jobs under $20k, and 5% for jobs with a contract price greater than $20k
This next part of the process is different for all clients. If your plans are not yet approved, the first step is for the builder to submit your plans for council approval. This can take from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on where you live and the zoning in place. In the meantime, the jobsite can be set up. This will include developing a site specific safety plan, fencing where required and your builder will begin scheduling your job, and ordering materials and sub-contractors ready to begin work once the approvals are received.
When your plans are received back from council, your job is ready to start!! It is during these first few weeks, you will be required to make your client selections, for example; tiles, paint colour fixtures and fittings. As a general guide depending on the size and complexity, you can expect your new home to be completed within 14-16 weeks and your renovation to take 16-18 weeks. Why the difference you? Well when renovating or extending you are matching new to old, which can be an arduous process and most certainly takes more time.
*Hint, always have a contingency budget, we recommend 20%
This process will differ a little for each client and each job, as well all come together at different places in our process, but this guide covers most scenarios.
Are you considering building or renovating? Have you had a different experience with a builder?