The 34th President of the United States, Dwight D Eisenhower is quoted as saying “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”. Whilst carrying out building works on you home might not quite be on the same level as heading to battle it is often the most expensive and stressful thing that many people will undertake and definitely benefits from a through preparation or ‘battle plan’. The first thing that you will want to do is put in place the correct permissions and approvals for your building works. Whether this is planning permission, building regulations approval, leaseholder or landlord permission. If you aren’t sure you should also check whether your home is subject to any specialist covenants in respect of listed building status or environmental and conservation areas. A local surveyor or architect will be able to give you the best advice and guide you through this process.
Alongside this the next most important planning job is finding the perfect building contractor. You will want to find someone with the right expertise, who is reliable, honest and understands your vision and communicates well with you. You can often find a great contractor by asking around family and friends or even asking for recommendations through social media. Home Improvement Contractors often have websites with pictures of their previous work and this is a great way to check their references and the quality of their workmanship. If you are attempting to build a brand new house or have a large scale renovation project then consider employing a General Contractor who can oversea the various trades and vendors needed and coordinate the building, fitting and finishing works – essentially project managing the build for you. It’s important before you sign off your chosen contractor to have a sit down meeting with them, to look them in the eye and have an open exchange. During this meeting you can ask them questions and judging from their response decide if you think that you will communicate and work well together on the project. It is important that you feel comfortable and that they understand your brief. Finally make sure that you obtain a firm quote which details all the work that you have agreed. A quote is a fixed fee that is contracted, it can only be increased if you change the plan (i.e. to add extra works) or if there is a large unforeseen expense which is outside of the builder’s control. Often builders will only give you an ‘Estimate’ which appears to be a quote, but in fact is just their best guess at the likely costs involved and can be increased as they feel the need – so is not contractually binding.
For both residential and commercial building projects Contractors in Chambersburg is a full service building contractor which offers services across the whole building trade from demolition to new build and including all electrical, plumbing, decorating and cabinetry skills. They also offer simple maintenance and repair services.