Steve has been involved with the building industry for over 35 years. We have compiled a list of the questions he gets asked most often by clients and prospects. These questions come from both returning clients and clients who are embarking on their first development project.
Once you have chosen your builder, you should request a “pre-contract meeting”. You should request that the builder supply you with his proposed Programme of Works prior to this meeting, and should study this to make sure his proposals fit with your needs. It will also allow you to get clarification on any of the items at this meeting. The programme should also take into account any discussions you have had previously, such as your intentions around residency through the build process. After this meeting the output needs to be included within the project contract, which you will both sign. These contracts are readily available on the internet and a good contractor can advise you which type would be best suited to your individual project needs. Most firms will also be able to supply their own contract if required. The difficulty however with a formal contract is that they require an administrator, that is someone who sits between the builder and the client. In the majority of cases this will be the architect or project manager. While this really is money well spent, many clients do not wish to spend their money here, they prefer to spend it on the bricks and mortar. In these cases constuction firms should be able to provide a simple “Form of Acceptance”. This document outlines an overview of the project, the schedule of works, materials, fixtures, roles and responsibilities in relation to the project, the cost of the work, the terms of payment, the acceptance process, terms and conditions, and your rights in relation to the project. Like the contract this is signed by both parties and copies held by each. These documents are important, and will form the basis of most of the meetings and conversations that will take place with you throughout the process, even if they are only used as a check-sheet. Most importantly and in addition to the contract, a hand shake between parties is highly recommended as a good starting point.
Most firms will also raise a non-returnable deposit invoice at this point. This will be used by the firm to purchase the materials required to commence work, arrange deposits with any sub-contractors and fabricators they are looking to use, and to cement your start date within their own schedule.