Whether you’re building from scratch, or making an old home new again – construction and  renovations can be a nightmare to manage. Here are 12 points to make this process a whole lot easier, from construction consultant Marco Kriek from Ground Up.

1) Ask for help
It is essential to ask for help with the process right from the start. It becomes more expensive and invasive when there are mistakes after completion to be fixed.

2) Understand the plans and specifications
These documents are the basis for all work that will be done and having an in-depth knowledge of what they include will help prevent many disappointments.

Before and…

3) Prepare for all the costs
There are a lot of costs involved with the process of building a new house that are not covered with a bond. Make sure you know and prepare for all costs to avoid financial stress.

4) Take matters into your own hands
Don’t think because a builder has a good reputation or built a nice house for a friend that you are safe. Houses are hand-made products and no two are the same. Take the necessary time and follow the process all the way through to avoid disappointment.

A recently revamped Durbanville home. Image: Fourth Wall photography

5) Don’t believe everything you are told
Just because a builder, estate agent or a somebody tells you one thing, does not make it true. Take the time to double check things that you are not familiar or comfortable with.

6) Know your rights
Make sure you have a good understanding of all the agreements involved with the building process. Knowing your rights as per your building agreement will be a massive advantage should a dispute arise.

7) Be mindful when making payments
Be 100% sure that you are only paying for work that has been completed. Making upfront payment is very dangerous and should never be done.

8) Get a completion date
Make sure your agreement has a definite completion date and that there are defined guidelines for extensions. If at all possible, allow for penalties should the project be unnecessarily delayed. Delays have massive cost implications for you as a client.

Revamping your home should not be a nightmare. Image: Fourth Wall photography

9) Be thorough with your snag list
Take time and make sure you are thorough when compiling your snag list. This is important as some items will not be covered by the guarantee if it is not mentioned on your snag list.

10) Don’t rely too much on government organisations
While government run organisations do play an important part in the process, do not rely on them to ensure the quality of work at your house.

11) No handshake agreements
Make sure that every agreement between you and the builder is documented and signed by both parties.

12) Keep thorough records
Keep records of the entire process including photos and records of all communication between you and the builders. This will be very important if issues do arise.

Ground Up is a start-to-finish building consultancy based in Cape Town, that will ensure your building plans are a success. For more information contact them on their website grndup.co.za, call them on 083 467 3545 or email info@grndup.co.za.screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-2-19-01-pm

Step inside the spacey holiday home in Plett or the Cape Town mountain home.

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