So to cut a long boring story short, I bought a big renovation project in April after a 6 month negotiation. I had builders quote for the work before I offered as I wanted to understand what I was getting in to. My favourite builder was quite new to the area and keen for the work. I felt we could get along
Oops. Finished too soon. Anyway, the crux of it is that I have been trying to get a mortgage and have only just managed to get there (almost) but he is now saying he is busy until spring. I won’t be on site every day so need someone trustworthy but I have waited a year to get to this point and feel totally despondent at the thought of waiting another 6 months to start! I’m also not sure how many builders want to take on such a big project. Any advice would be really welcome as I have never worked on a project before so am pretty green.
I'd start looking around in the mean time getting word of mouth recommendations. But to be honest, 6 months is not a massive amount of time in the building world. Very few builders would be available to start immediately.
You would also need to ensure that the price he quoted will still be valid in 6 months time - construction costs are going up by the month!
I waited a year for my builder, and I'm really glad I did. He's absolutely bloody brilliant. I'd seen lots of examples of his work, which is distinctive, in my area so I knew he was good for a high-end finish. Getting the right person is so, so important - the success or failure of your entire project depends on this. You need someone you can communicate with on a daily basis, who is clear-thinking, trustworthy and efficient.
Also, building projects in the winter are pretty tough work. I have cedar cladding to go on, and God only knows when I'm going to get some weather above 5 degrees so it can be oiled. Snow, frost can really delay work. Spring sounds like a much easier proposition all round.
I don’t think it’s necessary to wait for ever and ever. For example, you could immediately crack on with an architect/technician to plan any bigger jobs that might require detailed plans and/or planning permission, eg loft, extension etc. Gutting of the place can be done by basic labourers so you don’t need a general builder for that. Then you get a plumber and an electrician to do the first fix etc
So if you’ve got the time, then getting individual trades people means that you’ll be able to start sooner + it’ll be cheaper.
That's a good point from JoJo - do you have an architect on board already? It can take a while to get a final set of drawings. You need to work down to minute levels of detail, like which way doors open, where light switches will go etc