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How to prepare for tradespeople in your home!

Thursday, 18 November 2010 15:12

How to prepare for tradespeople in your home.

Your relationships with builders and tradespeople are pivotal to your accomplishing a successful, timely and stress free renovation. You need to learn their language. To ensure healthy interaction, remember some dos and don’ts:

Tips what to do:

1. Remove any items that could get broken or knocked by tradesmen carrying tools or materials into your home. There is nothing worse than seeing a family keepsake that has been passed down for 5 generations smash into a million little pieces.

2. Lock away your valuables. Most tradesmen will be completely trustworthy but just in case it is always worth locking away your jewellery, loose change etc. Alternatively you could ask a member of family to look after these things whilst the renovation is happening.

3. Are you going to have any demolition work? If a kitchen or bathroom is going to be knocked out then you can be sure it will be dusty. Ask beforehand if drop sheets can be put down to protect your flooring. Try and cover up electrical equipment such as computers or TVs. Move smaller decorative items and books into a cupboard.

4. Ask each tradesperson exactly how much time is needed for a task.

5. Draw up floor plans for each tradesperson so they know where everything is needed to be put.

6. Know where to turn off and on your water and electricity.

7. ask a tradesperson what you can prepare in advance. For example, if you want an electrician to install downlighting, do the preliminary work: mark the light positions; measure and cut the holes. This time-consuming chore is the kind of thing an electrician hates. If you do it, you’ll make him happy and he’ll want to work with you again. Also you’ll save a lot of money because he’ll be quicker.

8. Be precise. Know exactly what you want, and communicate this in short sentences, minus any waffle. Most tradespeople have a book of pictures of their work. Use these to communicate your requirements, or cut out your own pictures from newspapers and magazines to clearly show what it is you require. A clear contract and a description of works will also help.


Tips what not to do:

1. Don’t be demanding.

2. Don’t niggle over a sum less than $100.

3. Don’t call tradespeople before 7am or after 7pm. They have families and lives too.

4. Don’t have all your tradespeople at the property together. They hate it, and it’s an inefficient use of time. Draw up a timeline and schedule the workers as their skills are required.

5. Don’t ask for a receipt for a cash job. Ever.




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