A bit like the mosquito's at Connemara (1 million acre property western Qld), an old bloke always said the mosquito's were that large at Connemara they sat on the cow rails picking their teeth with cow horns!!
Your builder keeps asking you to clarify the finish you want for the kitchen or laundry or bathrooms and you feel like his questions are a lot like a mosquito buzzing around your ears. You continue to tell your builder that you will get around to the decisions shortly.
A few days click by. “Yes, I know that it is going to take 3 weeks to manufacture the cupboards, but they are not needed for weeks yet. We have heaps of time as the wall and roof frame is not finished yet”.
One week later: “Why is my builder still pushing for a decision on finishes more often now, the bricks and cladding are not finished yet.” The builder is just being annoying like a mosquito.
Another week later and you receive a phone call from your builder: “You want me to meet on site on Monday morning to help mark out the power point and lighting locations? And the kitchen layout? And the side of the vanity drawers? Tile sizes and laying directions? What? If I do not have the finishes worked out by Monday, the building could be delayed?”
I can’t work out all that over the weekend. Why didn't my builder tell me about these decisions earlier? “Do we really need to get all that decided by Monday morning? The builder has not started the wall and ceiling linings, so they are just being annoying like a mosquito.”
This is where the client has got it wrong, and I mean very wrong. The builder is not being a pest by constantly asking for decisions about the finishes. Even if the builder has been asking since before the contract was signed. Building is a management process, so if one link is weak (i.e. decisions on finishes), the whole process can become very disjointed.
You have to remember, things move quickly on site once the wall framing starts. Very quickly the building has reached the locked-up milestone. Now the Plumber and Electrician need to know about every cupboard unit and position, so they can “rough in" the points correctly first time. Every change is a variation charge, so it is best to plan your home a lot earlier than the weekend before the rough in meeting.
Joinery take at least 3 weeks to manufacture after the joinery drawings are signed off. So, add another 2 to 3 weeks for the sign off process. The joinery must be ready for installation in the first week after the plastering has finished. This is typically 2-3 weeks after rough in commencing.
Righto, you have raced out on the Saturday morning before the Monday deadline and chosen the best ceramic tiles you have ever seen before. These tiles will make the contestants on the block look like amateurs. They will have to be ordered in, but that won't take long (you think/hope).
You turn up on site Monday morning, sleep deprived (thanks kids) with an arm full of brochures and a heap of questions and not many answers. You give the builder the most/best answers you can, but really need to rely on their experience in designing the layout of your dream home.
Now you must remember what was agreed before you sit down with the kitchen designer during you lunch break. This is when that little voice says "I wish I did this earlier and less rushed".
Your heart falls when the builder contacts you to advise the last batch of your ceramic tiles was sold last week and the next batch is due to reach Australia in 8 weeks. The tiles are required to be ready for delivery in 3 weeks for the Tiler to start.
Sounds like a horror story doesn't it? It can all be avoided if the buzzing requests from the builder are dealt with either before the contract was signed or before the slab was poured in new homes, or before the builder starts your renovation. Make your finishes decisions early and have time to enjoy the process.
Oh yes, changes can be made with minimal impact, if you notify your builder in plenty of time. Remember, nothing derails a building project more than a last minute, “I want to change that, but I am unsure of what I really like.”