Renovation Tip #7
Use Quality sub trades who are proven and recommended
Although it is critical that you choose the right licensed, certified and qualified builder for your project, it is equally important to have the right subcontractors. Subcontractors are generally contracted by the builder who is the head or main contractor.
Subcontractors are hired to do the specialist areas of work in the renovation project – such as roofing, plumbing, electrical, joinery, plastering, painting and brickwork. Unless you have a labour-only contract and hire them yourself, the subcontractors will be accountable to the main contractor. All instructions must go through the main contractor who will be responsible for the quality of their work.
In some cases you may know a subcontractor – such as a family member, friend or colleague, who can do the job of plumbing, electrical, etc.; who can also save you cost. They are known as the nominated subcontractor, this is acceptable provided that you let your main contractor know and also it is printed in the contract so everyone knows what their responsibilities are from the start to finish date.
Be cautious when choosing nominated subcontractors
But be cautious that your nominated subcontractor is also your responsibility, so if they do not turn up or fall behind the recommended progress time you will be held liable for any extra cost due to delay of the project and their quality of work.
You will not be able to go back to your main contractor for remedies if your nominated contractor does a low quality workmanship on your project. If you have someone other than the main contractor managing the project, such as the architect or designer, they will organise the subcontractors for you.
If you are planning to choose subcontractors yourself you are responsible for your selection, so it is wise to set out certain criteria’s to help you with your decision-making.
This can include:
If a subcontractor’s price is way above or below the others you should ask them to justify their price. Some builders tender low on the early bid just to give you incentive to give them the job – but they’ll probably be required to cut corners, or rely on expensive variations along the way to make the job pay. They may even put their own business into jeopardy and be unable to finish the job. Expect to pay a fair price for the job – you get what you pay for.
Examples of their work
Ask them if you can talk to someone who has used them to build or renovate, and look at examples of their work.
Find out if they are trade qualified.
Check the Register of Licensed Practitioners to see if they are licensed. A licensed practitioner has shown they have the skills, knowledge and experience to meet government-backed national standards.
Whether any are offered and what is covered.
Are you comfortable around them and are you communicating effectively with them to get the job done. Communication is vital so that both parties are kept informed on how the project is going and what is expected.
Finally, talk to each builder and decide if you think you can work with them on a daily basis. You need to be comfortable with them as communication channels need to be open, and the confidence that they are capable of turning your designs into a high quality result.
Continue to Renovation Tip #8:
> Make sure your builder is Health and Safety compliant