25 Important things to know before you start building your house !
The building experience can be thrilling as well as a risky venture, these are some of the few guidelines that can help you enjoy the building experience. The list is not exhaustive though.
1.Dont just pick a builder everywhere, you need to either to get referred by friends or through a professional service provider to a good builder or contractor but also you need to do background checks on other works they did before. It is important to also note if their previous works they did matches what you them to do for you. Engaging an unskilled builder will cost you a lot because they is a high chance of reworks after failing to get council approval for the building
2. Get at least 3 to 5 quotations for your project, take you time to evaluate each quote, you can make use of professional help if you do not have much knowledge about building. While it is good to save cost by selecting the lowest quotation, do not always settle for the lowest quote always. Sometimes those not confident enough or chancers charge little, only to mess up your project.
3. Make sure to deal with a builder or contractor with a record of accomplishment. Avoid engaging intermediary people or “middlemen” masquerading as contractors. These people will inflate prices, as they will engage the real builders and put their markup on top, or worse, they subcontract to unskilled builders so that they make as much profit as possible.
4. When getting a quotation, get the labor costs stage by stage not just one blanket figure. This helps you in planning and management. Agree with builder that payments done only after the stage is completed and approved by council inspector.However you can agree on a deposit that allow the contractor to be able to sort out logistical issues to come to your project site. Stage by stage quotation helps you to avoid being overcharged.
5. Some shoddy builders can steal your building materials, thus you need to engage reputable and professional builders.
6. Avoid making payments upfront, payments should be made after completion of an agreed stage, and is inspected and approved. Instead, you may give them a deposit to cater for their logistical issues, but that deposit should be more than 25% of the total bill. A number of builders once you pay them, they start looking for new projects. Safeguard your money!
7.For someone based outside Zimbabwe, the situation can be tricky. The Common way is to engage a trusted friend or relative to manage the project for you. However in most cases, money have been misused by these trusted people. A better variation will be for the trusted person to get quotations and send you. However, the risk of inflated figures is common. A solution to this huddle will be to engage professional service providers in this area.
[to be continued, check out part two of this article for
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