Professional Architects and Designers in Solihull Est. 1981

riba chartered architects practice in solihull

10 things to do to ensure a smooth build project

Posted in Top Tips | Written by Vicki Potter

Having building work done on your house is stressful. Follow our tips to make it as painless as possible:

  1. Make yourself readily available to answer the builder’s questions and make swift decisions to avoid holding up progress.
  2. Don’t keep adding work into the project or changing your mind. The costs will spiral and the project will take longer. Make your design choices before work starts and stick to them.
  3. No matter how small the change is to the scope of works, always check whether there is a cost or time implication. There often is.
  4. Ensure any changes are put in writing. Wherever possible, get a cost from the builder for any changes before they are carried out on site. Keep nagging until the costs are clarified.
  5. Keep an eye on the programme and speak to the builder if they start falling behind. Understand if there will be a delay to the project being completed or if the builders can make up the time.
  6. Don’t pay for any work upfront. Don’t pay for materials until they are on your site.
  7. If something doesn’t look right with the build work, point it out immediately. Mistakes are easily rectified if they are spotted early.
  8. Never think you know more than your builders because you have researched online. There are often several ways to achieve the same goal. Ask your Building Inspector for advice if you have any concerns over the quality of the work.
  9. As the building dries out, you will find small issues like cracks appearing in the plaster. Perhaps a socket doesn’t work or your tap drips. These minor remedial works are called ‘snags’. Keep a list and share it with the builder. Make sure the snags are all fixed before you pay the builder’s final invoice.
  10. Building is not an exact science and will never be millimetre accurate. Houses built by hand, using natural materials. Be realistic in your expectations of perfection.


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