If you've watched any of the multitudes of home improvement shows that are on television these days, then you're probably aware that the building process can be a stressful one. There's mess, noise, and the seemingly endless decisions to make, all of which can cause tension. If you're extending your current home, and living on the site while building takes place, this can increase the level of stress immensely.
Despite the stress, it's important to maintain a good relationship with your building contractor. After all, they'll be working in your home for several weeks. Here are some simple but effective ways you can make sure your house extension project runs smoothly and your relationship with your builder stays friendly.
Let them do your job
As they say, time is money, and when it comes to your home extension, the money they're talking about is yours. While it's tempting to pop your head in several times a day to get progress reports and ask questions, literally every minute of your builder's time that you're taking up will cost you in delayed productivity.
Set aside a short, agreed-upon time with your builder at the beginning or end of each day to discuss how the build is progressing, ask any questions, and broach any concerns you may have. It's helpful to have a list of anything you need to talk about so you won't forget in the moment.
Pay them on time
Nothing will delay your extension from being completed like not paying your building contractor on the agreed dates. This applies whether you're paying them an hourly rate, or in instalments for a fixed price project. Not only will this likely cause them to cease work altogether until they have received the funds, but also it can sour the relationship between you. If there's an unavoidable delay in making a payment, make sure you talk to your contractor and let them know the situation as well as when you will be able to pay them. Most contractors will be understanding as long as there is good communication between you.
Also, in order for a renovation to run smoothly and quickly, building materials, fixtures, and fittings all need to be ordered in advance. If your builder hasn't received the funds they are due, then they won't be able to have them delivered to the site in a timely manner. This may mean you have your building contractor and other trades who are on site but unable to complete tasks.
Don't keep on changing your mind
Although it's usually okay to make small changes to the overall plans for your extensions, changing your mind repeatedly about major elements isn't a good idea. This can mean that your contractor has to undo work that has already been completed and redo it again to fit the changes.
Not only will this increase the length of the build time considerably, it will most likely increase the costs involved for materials and labour. If you really believe that a major change is required, then talk to your contractor to renegotiate their payment to accommodate the extra work.
Having an extension built on to your home can be a disruptive event, but the inconvenience will be worth it in the end. Maintaining a positive and respectful relationship with your building contractor will ensure that the whole process is a relatively stress free one.