How to start planning a large building project
Are you considering a large building project in the new year but don’t know where to start when it comes to planning it? Whether you are looking to redo your kitchen or build your dream house, for those with little building experience, commissioning a large project can be a daunting prospect.
In this article, read our top tips for planning a large building project, and get started on the journey to perfecting your space.
Get your team in place
A good building project needs a good team, and this means everyone from the builder’s merchant down to yourself. Getting in the best team for the job is imperative and getting them booked in early can not only ensure they’ll be available to do the work, but it can also offer you other perks.
We suggest, unless you have an extensive prior history with contractors, tradespeople and the like, that you take some time to look around for the team that will suit you and your job best. Invite people over to examine the space and discuss how they think a project would work. Ask the questions that you need to and don’t feel bad about making sure you have the right people for your needs.
Ensure you have all of your permits and permissions
Depending on the project you plan to undertake, you may need permits or permissions to carry the work out. This is something that a project manager or architect should be able to advise you on, however, it’s something that is worth working out sooner rather than later. You don’t want to have paid for all of the materials only to find out the project can’t be done.
Getting a project signed off by the council and the local neighbourhood can be a mammoth task in itself, especially for larger and more unconventional builds. Getting the ball rolling on that as early as possible will be useful and should be done as soon as you have firm building plans in place.
Co-ordinate your personal schedule
A large building project is bound to interrupt personal life, even more so if it’s being done in a place you are still using in some way. Especially when we are working to improve the family home, having builders coming and going can take its toll. This is why, when planning a large project, we recommended co-ordinating your personal schedule.
If you are taking a lead role in the build, are you able to work from home during the period or take some time off so you can answer any last-minute questions that arise? Not only will this mean you can be informed on exactly what is happening, but you can cut down on delays by being there to make the call.
And, if you have family in the house can you try and arrange the work, so it fits best? If you have a child who you know will be taking their exams in a certain month, planning the work in that period isn’t going to help anyone. Whether you choose to have the work done whilst you are away on holiday, or at a quieter time of year, it can be worth waiting those extra months to have a project cause the least disruption possible to your lives.
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Create a detailed plan
Although it may take time now, having a detailed plan to hand at all times can be a real lifesaver during a large building project. Especially when you might have a range of contractors or services involved, having all of the information you may need in one easy-to-access place can mean you don’t have to spend 20 minutes searching through your emails for a lost order number or workperson’s contact details.
Things to consider including in your plan:
A daily schedule – This can include delivery dates, the dates on which different contractors are supposed to arrive, and you can even create a section to fill in whilst the build is going on to account for any jobs that take longer than first thought.
Order information – Whether you’ve ordered a whole new kitchen or just a door handle, alongside the daily schedule and delivery date, why not include the order information? This can include your order number, the customer service number in case of an issue and even the price. This way, if anything doesn’t go to plan you have all of the information you need in one place to remedy the issue.
Contractor and service details – A large job can often include bringing in a range of contractors or services and with that can come various teams. If you will be hiring a range of different tradespeople, having a place to store their contact information and some basic details such as the agreed costs and dates can be useful.
Be prepared for every eventuality
Okay, although it’s impossible to be prepared for EVERY eventuality, there are things you can prepare for. One of the major issues that have been exacerbated in recent times is delays. Delays can cause a domino effect on any project and can throw everything out of sorts. Especially in the current climate, it’s wise to account for delays wherever possible.
This can mean if time allows, leaving time between contractors and services, ordering parts to be delivered before you need them and storing them and having a contingency plan should something fall through mid-project.
Although you cannot stop issues arising during a build, you can make sure you are in the best position to deal with them when they present themselves.
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How to start planning a large building project:
• Get your team in place
• Ensure you have all of your permits and permissions
• Co-ordinate your personal schedule
• Create a detailed plan
• Be prepared for every eventuality
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