Step 4 – Selecting Trades
With the planning and paperwork out of the way you can now think about the build itself.
Choosing your route to completion and selecting and managing your Tradesmen can be the difference between a successful Self Build and a stressful Self Build. The two words sound similar and it will be a fine line that you’re treading. Here we’ll try to help you make it a good experience.
- Getting your hands dirty or Project Management?
- Choosing tradesmen
- Managing disputes
- How Solo Timber Frame can help
1. Getting your hands dirty or Project Management?
There are various routes to completion. Despite you undertaking a Self’ Build you’ll probably be like the majority of Self Builders and manage the project rather than being hands on in every process. Certainly, building a house using your own hands is a full time job and you have to weigh up whether your 9-5 job pays better than the savings you’ll make getting your hands dirty.
These are the common routes to completion listed in order of cheapest to most expensive.
True ‘Self’ Build
Self Project Management with you individually instructing the relevant Tradesmen
Project managed by a local building company
Project managed by your Architect
Engaging a main contractor
There is no right or wrong route to take other than ensuring someone is managing the project rather than doing it on a wing and a prayer and hoping for the best.
2. Choosing tradesmen
It’s tempting to go for the cheapest quote but never wise to buy anything based upon price alone, especially in the construction industry.
There really is nothing better than recommendation and personal experience so speak with friends and relatives and think back to smaller projects you have undertaken where the Tradesmen did a good job. If they’re still trading they must be doing something right.
Do look into the history of any company you plan to use. Search the internet for complaints, do a credit check, search to see if any of the Directors have an adverse history, ask how long they’ve been trading and to speak to previous customers and avoid businesses whose only means of contact is a mobile phone number or email address.
Try to use accredited businesses. There’s a scheme called ‘Buy with Confidence’ where all the members have been heavily vetted by local Trading Standards. There are few better references than Trading Standards!
Most of this is common sense, but sometimes in order to keep on schedule you’ll be under pressure to make quick decisions and you may get weary of speaking with Tradesmen and instruct someone without undertaking due diligence. Avoid this by giving yourself plenty of time to select trades and not doing everything at the last minute.
Though not exhaustive, here is a list of the trades you’ll probably need…
Ground workers for building foundations
The Timber Frame Itself
External Cladding installer
Joiner for internal carcassing
Alternative energy installer
Home Automation installer
Insulation, Sound Proofing and VCL installers
Drylining & Plastering
Joiner for internal fitting out
3. Managing disputes
This is a big subject. Our Wonder Tool includes two documents that give advice on how to prevent disputes before they begin and managing your tradesmen.
4. How Solo Timber Frame can help
When it comes to choosing which route to completion suits you best Solo Timber Frame can help you decide and can recommend companies in your area that may be able to assist you.
For our part, Solo Timber Frame is a full member of the Trading Standards Buy with Confidence Scheme (we are the only company in our industry to be members) and we’re happy for you to speak with former clients and our Chartered Accountants to help put your mind at rest.
Solo Timber Frame was founded in 2003 by Chris Davenport and Hayley Roskilly both of whom are dedicated to offering the best service possible with high business morals. We’ve never had a CCJ or court case and are in very good financial health with no borrowings other than an overdraft limit with Barclays Bank.
Whilst many of our competitors have fallen by the wayside because of greed and poor planning, Solo has continued to grow organically. You can quite literally buy from us with confidence.
Want some help?
If you would like to discuss any self-build project you are currently planning, please get in touch to see how we can help you.