One of the many advantages of employing an interior designer is the access gained to
their pool of tried and trusted building contractors. If, however you wish to venture into
this task alone we are going to help you out with some tips.
The secret to getting an accurate quotation is to supply your contractor with detailed
specifications for the works to be done. This is not as easy as it sounds. We’ve seen job
specifications that instructed the contractor to “remove old kitchen cabinets” but made no
mention of disposing of them. The contractor charged extra to cart the debris off-site.
This cost would have been included in the original estimate had the specification read,
“Remove and dispose of old kitchen cabinets”.
Sit down and think hard about the scope of the work and put your specifications down on
paper. Send these specifications to your chosen contractors before they come to survey
the site to do their estimate. The specifications will encourage them to ask searching
questions and offer opinions.
There are two prices that will come into being during the life of the project. The first will
be the estimated price quoted before the work starts; the second will be the price you are
eventually charged. It is in the best interest of your sanity and your savings that the two
are as close to each other as possible. All jobs will have variations that occur during
works due to unforeseen events. At this point it is worth mentioning that a contingency
fund of 10% is essential to any building project for unexpected expenditures. Don’t be
tempted to enter into a cash deal by doing so you will have no proof of payment and if
something goes wrong you have no legal recourse.
Once you’ve chosen your building contractor you should agree on a start date and
reasonable project duration and along with the contract amount and a payment schedule.
You can insist on a penalty clause if the project is not completed by the date agreed but
remember the contractor my cut corners to meet that date.
Construction work is always going to be stressful and disruptive but thinking ahead can
reduce the effect. If you have chosen your contractor well and maintained a good level of
communication throughout the project then you have a high chance of a rewarding
experience that delivers the results you desired.