29. February 2012 22:50
Avoiding extra cost
Q. I am thinking of having an extension. How can I make sure I don’t get a bill for extras when the builder finishes?
A. It is not always possible to entirely eliminate additional costs, particularly when working on existing buildings where unforeseen circumstances can arise.
By employing a Chartered Architect extras will be monitored and can be eliminated in the following ways:-
· Provide the contractor with detailed drawings and schedules to price from.
Planning and Building Regulations drawings alone will not normally include all the items you wish the builder to include in his price. A detailed breakdown of your requirements is essential to ensure that both you and the builder have the same expectations. Insufficient information at pricing stage inevitably leads to extras on site.
· Always have a contract. We mentioned this in our previous column. The contract should include all the detailed drawings and schedules that the builder has priced. It is therefore very clear what is included and any additional works you request can be monitored. Considering the cost of works you should never risk proceeding without a contract and any builder worth employing will be happy to work on this basis.
· Monitor additional works on site. Your architect will assess any work considered to be extra. This may include unforeseen circumstances or changes requested by the client. For any work is considered additional to the contract the builder must provide a quote. Once agreed, this will be added to the contract sum and the Architect will instruct the work. We prepare an ongoing instruction schedule to ensure there are no surprises at completion.
Never let extras build up until completion. These can become significant if they are not monitored and agreed immediately. Once you get to completion there should be no unexpected additional costs.
(as featured in The Heswall Magazine Nov 2011)