Advice on avoiding disputes with tradesmen during an extension process

Extending a property can be a lengthy and sometimes complicated procedure and sadly, disputes with tradesmen are not uncommon. Fortunately, there are steps homeowners can take to help minimise the risk of disputes arising and to make the process run smoothly.

Have a contract in place

Before beginning the construction work, it is a good idea to have a contract in place with the various parties involved in the project.

While no two building projects are the same, building contracts come as a standard form. Contracts, such as a RIBA Domestic Building Contract, which cover residential and small commercial building projects, will cover the basis of a project, including the plans, specification and price breakdown.

By getting such a contract together, everyone involved in the project, including architects, contractors, consultants and homeowners, will have a clear understanding of the project requirements.

The importance of a good design

Poorly designed plans can lead to disputes between tradesmen and homeowners, as the extension project can go off course, resulting in the property owner’s expectations failing to be met. It is therefore important a good design of the extension is drawn up to help ensure the tradesmen deliver the construction to meet the client’s expectations.

A good design not only helps give an extension project the ‘wow’ factor, but it helps to fit all the different pieces of the project seamlessly together. One of the most important aspects of a good design is that it gives both the client and the tradesmen involved in the project a full understanding of what the construction will look like when it’s completed.

In short, a good design gives everyone involved the confidence to move forward with the project. Subsequently, disputes are less likely to arise somewhere down the line, as the design plan maps out clearly the different stages and components of the extension process.

The value of an architect

While there are no legal requirements to employ an architect when making home improvements, engaging a professional architect with the project can lead to a better end result and less disputes arising on the way.

Architects are experts in seeing the ‘big picture’ of an extension and helping the project meet relevant building controls and regulations. Architects also tend to look at the detail that may otherwise go ignored, which, if overlooked, could potentially lead to conflicts and problems later on in the project.

A contingency budget

Establishing a budget is one of the most importance steps in planning a successful extension project. Unfortunately, issues related to budget is one of the most common disputes that arise between clients and tradesmen.

An experienced and quality tradesman will advise a client when giving a quote for the project to have some contingency funds in place. Knowing that money needs to be set aside to cover unexpected costs during the construction process, can help avoid monetary disputes from rearing their head.

If you are looking to embark on a building project to create that perfect home environment, get in touch with Arti Construction, specialists in delivering building projects of an extremely high standard with an emphasis on attention to detail.