1. Fix your build price. The easiest way to do this is to put together a Scope of Works document and a Tender Pack that detail everything you require for the completed build. Providing these documents to your builder means that he can accurately price to complete all the work you require – not his interpretation of what is required! Once a price has been fixed, it is vitally important to avoid changing both the Scope of Works document and the Tender Pack. In this way, any risk and related cost is borne by the builder, not you.
2. Consider engaging a building firm from further afield. You may be surprised at the savings to be made by using a building firm that will travel. The savings can often cover their accommodation costs and still leave you nicely in pocket. Just be mindful to agree clauses in their contract for post-build issues or maintenance.
3. Ensure you price to keep your home secure during the building phase. If you have moved out during the build then home security could be compromised as the house will be visibly unoccupied at night. It is recommended that you form prior contractual agreements with your builder to determine how they will keep the site secure and be prepared to pay for some additional measures yourself.
4. Always ask to see your building firm’s insurance certificate. This level of guarantee is critically important as a form of financial protection in the nightmare scenario that your builder goes out of business! If your preferred building firm does not have insurance but you are absolutely set on using them then you are advised to take out your own insurance to protect your investment.
5. Never tell your builder he was the cheapest quote. Sounds obvious but, as the build progresses, a client can form quite a strong relationship with their builder and confessing this aspect is just inviting extra costs to creep in!