How to Achieve a Harmonious Relationship with Your Builders and Designers

So you’re having your house renovated, an extension built, or a design makeover – how exciting! To ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible for everyone involved, here are a few guidelines that should be followed:

Clear vision

You know your house needs updating but you’ll have to be more specific than that when you speak to your contractor or designer. If you can at least come to the table with a rough idea, the renovation specialist will be able to help expand and tighten that vision. Think about what you will be using the room for and start with what you know you don’t want. What do you feel would really improve the space, what would be your dream result? It may not be achievable but it’s a good starting point. Often you see things on the television, on websites or in magazines that you love (or hate!), so start a scrapbook or a digital board such as Pintrest to create a mood board. With help from the pros, your vision will soon be crystallised.

Know what you’re letting yourself in for

A major upgrade to your home is incredibly exciting and the results should be worth any hassle experienced along the way but you do have to be prepared for some inconveniences. You will have builders in and out of the house, there will be noise and, even though the workpeople should clear up after themselves, there will be dust in the air. You may not have access to certain parts of your house and you’ll have to warn your neighbours of possible disruption. In order not to have a mini-breakdown halfway through, you should know all the facts and what to expect, including what time the builders will start and finish each day, how many days a week they’ll be on the job, and how long they estimate the work to take.

Communication is key

Possibly the most vital part of any home renovation is communication – indeed, all points in this article could come under this heading. Your contractor needs to know exactly what you want and they need to communicate to you precisely what progress is made, day by day. Without good communication, the entire process breaks down. Be clear about how often you want progress updates and provide the details of the best way to contact you if any urgent issues arise whilst you’re out of the house.

Budget for contingencies

The average renovation costs 10-20% more than expected so it is vital that some money is set aside for contingencies. It is often nobody’s fault – sometimes unexpected costs arise, with anything from pulling up rotten floorboards to replacing a leaky roof, or poor weather can delay a project, which can incur extra costs. It is often difficult to know what you truly want until the process starts and you see things happening so design revisions may also require extra funds. You may not need all of your contingency budget but at least it’ll be there if you do.

Draw up a contract

A well thought-out contract protects everyone involved and should help prevent the majority of disputes. A contract should detail everything involved in the project so that everyone knows who is responsible for what – only sign once you have read, understood and agreed with everything laid out in it.

As a home improvement fanatic, copywriter and journalist Emily Buckley is proud to be working with Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia on a series of articles on how to successfully renovate or extend your home.

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