Tag: contractor

Advice Center, Architecture & Building

When is the best time to build a house?

Many people wonder when the best time of year to start construction and build a home is. Out of all of the seasons, spring is usually the best time to start your project. However, materials are often cheaper in the autumn or winter, this is because there is less demand.  

Why is spring the best time to build?  

There are multiple reasons why spring is the perfect time to start building your dream home. Here is a list of the reasons:  

The weather is better –  

In spring the weather is getting warmer and the skies stay clear which is perfect for working outdoors. Because of this, there will be fewer issues when it comes to the logistics and building of your construction projects. Whereas, if you start your project in the winter, the cold, wet, and harsh weather conditions can make it difficult for the builders to work. Starting a project in the colder weather is also not ideal for you as a homeowner because you are open to the elements, and it could take longer because of delays.  

The days are longer –  

Due to daylight saving times, in spring you get more hours of sunlight to work with. This is easier for builders because if they get behind schedule, they are able to work later without the worry of it getting dark. The longer the days the faster the project will be completed. So, doing construction in the spring/ summer is beneficial for both the homeowner and the contractors.  

Get a head start on the build –  

Summer is generally the busiest time of year for contractors and builders. So, the longer you wait and put off the construction the harder it will be to find contractors. This is why spring is the perfect time to start scheduling contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc. 

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Advice Center, Extensions

Common mistakes made by people when extending their home

Extending your home is a big project and can cost you a lot of money. So, here is a list of common mistakes that you may want to avoid.  

Having an unrealistic schedule  

It is common knowledge that building work can be unpredictable and can take longer than expected. There are some things you can’t just predict or plan. Having an understanding of this from the beginning of the project can help you prepare for delays. For instance, having a positive and chilled attitude will help form a better relationship with your contractor.  

Rushing the design  

If you’ve recently purchased a property or moved into a new home, you should live in the home for a while before extending or renovating. This is so you can get a real insight into what changes you want to make to the property. By waiting a year or so, you can see how the house stands and works throughout the seasons and different weather types.  

Upsetting the neighbours  

You must always inform your neighbours about any renovation that is going to take place on your property. Regardless of whether you get along with them or not. Often building works can be disruptive to your neighbours and their properties. So, to make sure no conflicts occur you should be aware of and get a party wall agreement. The agreement with your neighbours usually takes place in letter form and can be done by a third party such as a party wall surveyor.  

Going over your budget  

Running out of money when you are halfway through a project can be one of the worst things that can happen. This is why ensuring that you get fixed quotes and estimates from the beginning is vital. Before you start your project, it is important to have a contingency fund available just in case anything unexpected comes up.  

Not researching tradespeople properly  

It can often be tempting to choose a cheap builder so you can save a bit of extra money. However, employing a skilled professional is a good investment, so you can avoid unfinished or bad-quality work. You should choose a trade person based on their previous work and trusted recommendations.  

Image credit: Simon Burt

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Architecture & Building

How much does it cost to build a new house in 2022?

Buying your first home is exciting, so just imagine the excitement of building your first home. Self-builds are becoming a popular trend in the UK, with more homeowners opting to build rather than buy. However, you should know how much your dream house is going to cost.  

Build cost factors –  

Here are several key factors which can affect the cost of building a house:  

  • Size 
  • Location 
  • Build quality 
  • Complications  
  • Design complexity  
  • How many storeys  
  • Professional services required 

Size of the house –  

The price of your project can vary majorly depending on the size and design of your proposed house. A great way to get a general estimate is to think about the cost to build a house per square metre. Averagely in the UK, you can expect to pay anything from £1,500 – £3,000 per m2.  

Location of where you want to build –  

The prices of building a house differ widely depending on the location. However, the closer to London you decide to build the more expensive the project will be. Central London is the most expensive area to build in, in the UK and the second-highest priced in the world. If you are looking for the cheapest areas in the UK to build a home, you should look in the North West and Scotland. Prices average between £99,000 – £160,000 for a new build.  

Build quality –  

The materials you choose to use and the finish you want will have a big impact on the price of your project. However, the prices of materials have been increasing rapidly over the last year and in 2022. This is because of a supply and demand issue caused by lockdowns and Brexit. This means you may have to pay a little extra for certain materials. 

Complications –  

When it comes to a new project it is always good to have a plan and a budget just in case anything goes wrong. There are many potential complications that can arise during a build. This can happen during the planning stage, or when the building work is underway, which is why it is important to have a contingency plan.  

Design complexity –  

It is common knowledge that the more complex your design is, the more the price will increase. More complex designs take longer to build meaning you will need to pay more for contractors. Also, your architect’s fees will be higher because they have to spend more time on your drawings.  

The number of storeys –  

The more storeys you design your property to have, the more the price will increase. A single-storey property will be cheaper to build than a two or three-storey house. However, the size, shape, and location of the plot will decide how many storeys you can build. 

Professional services –  

You will also need to budget for an architect, project manager, and contractors. The industry’s standard fees for professional services range from 1% to 15% of the total cost, depending on the scale of the job.  

Image: https://www.redrow.co.uk/houses/cobden-gardens-hauxton-meadow-222361/cambridge-dcc4
Advice Center

Everything You Should Know About Quantity Surveyors

What is a quantity surveyor?  

A quantity surveyor (QS) is a construction industry professional with expert knowledge on construction costs and contracts. Their role is to keep a close eye on the project’s finances and contractual relationships.  

They make sure that the financial position of construction projects is accurately reported and controlled effectively. They also help to ensure that the construction project is completed within its budget.  

Quantity surveyors are hired by contractors to help with the valuation of construction work for the contractor, help with bidding and project budgeting, and the submission of bills to the client.  

What are their duties?  

Some of the duties of a quantity surveyor are:  

  • Firstly, cost estimate, cost planning, and cost management.  
  • Prepare tender documents, contracts, budgets, bills of quantities and other documentation.  
  • Predicting potential risks in the project and taking precautions.  
  • Select and/or source construction materials.  
  • Take note of changes made and adjusting the budget accordingly. 
  • Contract management and contractual advice.  
  • Finally, claims and dispute management         

Is quantity surveying a good career? 

Yes, it is a good career because it offers the ability for career progression and great compensation. If you don’t like the set 9 – 5 jobs then this role might be perfect for you. Quantity surveyors spend much of their time on the field watching over the construction, or, meeting with clients and architects.  

It is also a great career choice if you favour numerical and financial management skills. As well as, the ability to work on a team, the ability to negotiate, communication skills and excellent relationship-building skills.  

Qualifications – 

However, a university degree does not allow one to register as a quantity surveyor. Although, anyone looking to qualify as a quantity surveyor or a charted quantity surveyor must have the appropriate qualifications and work experience.  

The RICS requires an RICS approved degree, several years of practical experience, and passing the assessment of professional competence to qualify as a charted quantity surveyor.  

In addition, people without a quantity surveying degree might begin in the field as technical surveyors or surveying technicians.  

The average quantity surveyor salary – 

Quantity surveyors in the UK take home an average of around £33,265. The price of the salaries varies on how long you have been in the business and your experience, for example:  

  • Less than a year – £23,305 
  • 1- 4 years – £29,638 
  • 10 – 19 years – £42,531 
  • 20 or more years – £45,794 

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Architecture & Building, House Renovation

An Informative Step By Step Guide To Building A New Home

Looking to build a new home but don’t know where to start? this step by step guide is a perfect way to understand the process of the construction

1. Prepare the construction site 

Firstly, before any construction can happen, the local government must approve the design and provide permits. You will need these permits for everything from home construction, electrical work, plumbing, and planning. Once the permits are required, construction can begin.  

Often site preparation and foundation are performed by the same people. The crew clears the site of rocks, debris, and trees. They then level the site, put up wooden forms to serve as a template for the foundation, and dig holes and trenched. The footings are then formed and poured, as well as the foundation walls. The areas between them are levelled and fitted with plumbing drains and electrical chases; then the slab is poured. Once all of the concrete is set an inspector will visit the site to make sure the foundations are up to code and installed properly. 

2. Complete rough framing  

The floor, walls, and roof systems will all be completed. Usually, plywood sheathing is applied to the exterior walls, roof, and windows and the exterior doors are installed. It is then covered with a protective barrier known as a house wrap. This prevents liquid water from infiltrating the structure. This also reduces the likelihood of d rot.   

3. complete rough plumbing and electrical 

Once the shell is finished the roof can be installed and the following are installed: 

  • Pipes and wires 
  • Water supply lines 
  • Sewer lines and vents  
  • Bathtubs, shower units 
  • Ductwork for HVAC system 
  • HVAC vent pipes 

Once all of the things are installed you will need to have a few more inspections. 

4. install the insulation  

Insulation plays a key role in creating a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate and improving the home’s energy efficiency. The most common types of insulation used in new homes are fiberglass, cellulose, and foam. Most homes are insulated in all exterior walls, as well as the loft and floors.  

5. Complete drywall and the interior fixtures, start the exterior fixtures 

The next step is to hang the drywall and make sure it is taped so the seams are not visible. After the taping is complete the primer coat of paint is applied. Then the contractors will begin installing the external finishes such as brick and stone. 

6. finish interior trim, install driveway and walkways  

All of the interiors get completed and this includes doors, baseboards, window sills, cabinets, vanities, fireplaces, and much more. The walls get the last coats of paint and the wallpaper is applied.  

Generally, the driveway, walkways, and patios are formed at this stage.  

7. install hard surface flooring and countertops  

Ceramic tile, vinyl, and wood flooring are installed as well as the countertops.  

8. finish mechanical trims 

Light fixtures, outlets, and switches are installed and the electrical panel is complete. All of the bathroom fixtures are also installed such as sinks, toilets, baths, and showers.  

9. install finishing touches  

Mirrors, shower doors, and carpet are installed and a big final clean-up takes place. They also complete the landscaping by adding trees, grass, and shrubs  

10. The final walkthrough  

The final step is a walkthrough, your builders will show you and acquaint you with your new home, the features, and the operation of some things. This is also an opportunity to spot items that need to be corrected or adjusted. And also, to check there are no possible damages to the countertops or walls.  

Discover How to Avoid Budget Blowouts when Building a Home | BBBLOGS®
Building a new home

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