On more occasions than I can remember, trouble has come about between builder and client because of one simple misunderstanding. Clients most often, believe that workers will be onsite every day of their renovation. This is unfortunately not true. But why?
It’s Tuesday, Where’s My Builder?
Believe it or not, most builders work on more than one job at a time. This is especially true on smaller jobs, it is simply too difficult to make a profit on small jobs where there is little margin for error. Working on a few (not too many) jobs at a time, provides the potential for a builder to make a small profit.
There is always the possibility that a builder could work only on one job, this is usually where the client has paid a premium price for the builder to do so. Think very small building companies where the builder is working predominately on the tools, with perhaps only an apprentice or an offsider, this small set up is able to cater to a client expecting the builder to be only working on their job.
For us to remain competitive in a very competitive industry, we need to be working on 2-3 mid size renovations at one time. This allows us to continue to have enough stock turn over, to receive reasonable pricing on our materials, and to keep enough work ahead of our sub-contractors so that they are able to keep working for us. This actually enables the jobs to run without so many delays for us, as if we were only focusing on one or two jobs at a time.
Where I really think the issue comes into place, is the lack of communication from builder to client. Most clients have not built or renovated before, and therefore rightly assume something will be happening on site each day. This is just not true, even if the builder is only working on one job. Various stages of the job will require the opportunity for materials to set or cure before you are able to work at the site again. This of course means a day or two without anyone on site. Sub-contractors such as electricians, painters, plumbers and plasters all need to be working for multiple builders to enable them to live. A plasterer is usually only required on a building site from 2-7 days, and that is their contribution for the building period. Therefore they require plenty of other work to keep them going, this creates scheduling problems at times, while the sub-contractors try to juggle all of there work.
To prevent communication issues each week we email out to our clients to give them an update on what to expect on their job for the week to come. It will list the days of the work week, who is potentially coming to their home, and what they are responsible for. This is a guide only, that allows our clients to plans for best case scenario. Of course there are always hiccups and delays, but this gives the best chance for our clients to plan for the disruption of what is to come.
At the end of the day, it is in the builders best interests to get your job done as quickly as possible. For each day or delay they are losing money. Builders want to get your job finished and you into your new and our improved home, as soon as possible. Every builder loves a happy client!
Have you built or renovated a home? How did you find the experience? What was one thing your builder could have done to improve your experience?