Once the concept of the construction project has been formalised, and you are comfortable the costs are within your budget, you can proceed to the working drawings stage. The good thing about going through the stages prior to these is you are now far more informed. You are in control of the process and can make reasonable decisions relating to designing additions and alterations. There are clients who abandoned their plans in despair after spending $20,000 on design costs, only to have to pay even more to re-design. This process may have taken from six months to two years, all for no result.
Working drawings are the blueprint to pto shaft any construction. They contain all the information needed to construct your design, including the dimensions and specifications for the building.
Designers normally begin with freehand sketches before progressing to design development where all the original ideas and practical aspects are combined into working drawings. Most working drawings done by architects will be produced using Computer-Aided Software (CAD). This software is a more efficient way of creating designs and a lot easier for any changes to be made.
Working drawings are used by Certifiers and Builders to formalize and complete the construction process. It is in this phase of the project designers need to produce a more comprehensive plan which not only allows construction but also meets all the industry standards. Meeting the industry standards and criteria is crucial when designing a building as it allows you to understand all the aspects of the architecture and to be content with its quality.
Finding a reliable contractor is one of the most vital points of the construction process and needs some serious consideration. This decision will determine your enjoyment of the construction process. Unless you are experienced and exceptionally knowledgeable about the building and construction process, it will be necessary to find the right builder or contractor.
The contractor you choose must be honest, reliable and respected in the industry. A builder or the contractor will be informed of all aspects of the construction process. They will know what needs to be undertaken in regard to permits, building restrictions, weather conditions, contracts, subcontractor agreements and other construction issues and requirements.
When considering the quotes you have received keep in mind that a professional contractor will present the documents in person. Ensure that the documents have been fully explained and that all exclusions are listed. Quantifying Prime Cost and Provisional Sum items must be clearly listed.
The only way you can have a fixed cost contract with no variations is if the builder can determine the entire scope of work, and the desired specifications based on your wishes and needs. This will be extremely difficult to do if the project is a renovation, as there will always be items, which are not apparent at the time of design and pricing. It is important to note if variations are made during the construction, the builder/contractor must have these in writing, and both parties are to sign this document.
No-good builders will ask for money up front. You may need to agree a payment schedule that runs throughout the project so that the builder can acquire the materials he needs. You may have to pay other contractors, but you should never be asked to pay the total cost of the work up front. If any of the builders you approach ask for this, don’t choose them. You will have no way of getting your money back if the work isn’t completed.
Once you have finalised a concept design with the architect and found your builder or contractor you will be given a tentative construction schedule that will keep you informed of the progress of your home. The builder will include all the different phases of construction within this schedule, along with a specific time period for completion of each stage. However, do not expect this schedule to be exact as there are a number of uncontrollable factors, e.g. unpredictable weather and the availability of materials, which can influence the overall completion time.
From here all the supplies will be pre-ordered, so at this stage it is important that you have made a decision about the materials and finishes you want to include.
It is possible that the person you are dealing with is not the person who will be doing the work. Insist on a meeting with the person who will be supervising the work. This will enable you to form an opinion prior to signing the contracts.
The contract is an agreement binding the two consenting parties to facilitate an exchange of benefits. A contract is meant to be acted upon by both the signatories, and a breach of contract will entail legal proceedings in a court of law with the resultant payment of damages by the defaulting party. The one assured way to avoid possible litigation is for the two consenting parties to study all the agreement clauses and satisfy themselves that they are all capable of fulfilling their promises.
Most builders provide industry-standard contracts that are written in plain English. Industry standards set out all the industry benchmarks in regard to the quality of the work and obligations of the client and contractor, and also come with explanatory notes on the different responsibilities for each party.
There is a cooling-off period of five business days after the contract is signed. During this time, it is a good idea to have a solicitor read over the document in this period, to ensure they point out any contract terms, which create any uncertainty or could cause future problems.
For business contracts to be valid and sustainable in courts of law, both the consenting parties should initial each page of the agreement, and finally affix their full signatures and date the last page. In most cases, the agreement will also have to be signed by two witnesses (one from either side) to lend further credence.
After the foundation is laid the structure of your home will start to take shape. This means putting up the framing of the building, including walls, floors, roof, stairs and any other structural features. From here the exterior is built up, and outside finishes are applied.
The final stage begins with the installation of the plumbing and electrical features, followed by insulation and air sealing to produce a comfortable living environment. Once this is completed it is time for the fun stage, interior finishes. This is when you can really express your personality through colour, tiles, light fittings, carpets and other materials. All the internal doors and fittings are installed, along with any other in-built furnishings like cabinets, shelves and kitchen and bathroom units.