Building work can be a challenging experience that needs to be carefully evaluated before the process begins. A properly formulated planning process comprised of well-defined steps and procedures is necessary in this case to alleviate stress and save money as well as time. They will also help in evading problems with builders, contractors or plumbers. “Everything needs to be covered, from the initial planning stages and appropriate permissions right through to assuring UK plumbing and heating safety standards are met and maintained in your property,” advised Bedford & Milton Keynes’ Gasteam Plumbing and Heating. “With these simple steps, you will be definitely on your way to gaining confidence in your upcoming building project and getting everything off to a great start.”
1. Consider whether permissions or approvals are necessary
There are two types of approvals you to consider, building regulation approval and planning permission. A building regulation approval is applicable for minor renovations such as windows and doors. There is no need to apply for this approval if you have a contractor belonging to a competent person scheme. If the contractor is not registered, you might have to submit full plans with an application.
Planning permission is only applicable if you want to build something new that significantly changes your property, for example an extension or an additional building. These projects can affect the value of your own home as well as other peoples’ and the surrounding environment, which is why planning applications are taken seriously and failing to meet your agreed plans can result in severe penalties.
2. Finding builders and contractors
Whoever you hire, they must be good at their job. The best way is to seek recommendations and references. It is also vital you do a proper check on things such as a contractor’s membership to an approved scheme. Ask for proof of qualifications just to be sure. It is a prudent thing to ensure you have a variety of contractors and builders to enable you compare and choose the best.
3. Get a quote
Get a written quote from at least three contractors and compare them before deciding. The quote must have a fixed total price, validity period, and breakdown of the work to be done. Once you agree to the quote, it becomes a binding agreement between you and the contractor. You can make references to it in case of a dispute.
4. Check on the insurance
You must ensure that the contractor has an insurance policy which won’t expire before the work is completed. For instance, the contractor should have both employers and pubic liability insurance policies. Other insurance to check for include contractor’s all-risk-insurance and insurance warranties. If you have an existing insurance policy of your own, contact your insurance agency to ensure you are covered during the working period.
5. Get a written contract
Always push to get a contract in writing. Always ensure the contract covers on everything you agreed on. The contract must cover all the details pertaining to the building work so you can refer back to any given detail in case of a later dispute.
6. Always be prepared to deal with problems
Problems will always arise in building work projects, whether as a result of factors outside of anyone’s control or disagreements between parties. Always be in a position to tackle these problems constructively and have a backup plan in case there are major delays for some reason. In case of a problem with the standard of the work being done for you, you should be in a position to firmly ask the contractor or builder to put it right.