Selfbuild 123 - How to Self Build a House
Self Build Project Management
Project management is a big part of your self build and doing it yourself offers great involvement in the project while also saving money.
Planning ahead is the key to a smooth build. It is advised that you spend some time each week evaluating progress and discussing any potential problems for the forthcoming week.
Larger build stages should be listed to form the major stages - these might include the initial groundwork, services and rendering.
The secondary stages provides a breakdown for each of the major stages - following up quotes, arranging deliveries and so on. These are the day to day tasks essential for keeping the project moving. Generally these tasks that are interdependent and need to be complete to ensure the next stage can continue.
Any self builder knows the importance of cash flow - it is the lifeblood for your self build home. If the cash flow slows it can throw the whole project off schedule. In the worst case scenario, materials could not be delivered so work cannot start resulting in the builders being forced to begin projects elsewhere.
Once again there is specialist PC software for cash flow management is available else a basic spreadsheet package will suffice enabling you to forecast spending against the reality. All known invoices and forecasts should be filed complete with due dates for your staged payment records.
It is best to get any matters you are uncertain of in writing. From quotes to decisions the written word will protect you more than verbally. Have your suppliers provide you with supply dates, quantities and prices.
As a project manager you will be required to be responsible for your site contractors needs. While you are their source of income you will be required to manage them and ensure they are have all they need for their work on site.
Building Material Quotes
The 3 quote rule says that you should get at least 3 quotes in writing. A useful addition to this is an expiry date for the quote as the actual timescales may differ to that of your proposed schedule.
This gives you a range of quotes to choose from and you will become familiar with the costs involved. Provide exact quantities and dates to be sure that you won't be over supplied - be precise and be serious. Once the traders know you've got money to spend rather than time wasting they will be a lot more helpful.
Running the Site
Keeping the site tidy is yet another challenge. Ensuring you've got the space for large deliveries and the access required. How will you materials be stored - under polythene sheeting or in a container/shed. Materials may quickly deteriorate if stored inappropriately or left to stand too long before being used.
If things go awry you'll need to be able to handle them swiftly and amicably. Keeping your staff happy is one thing but having to ensure you get the work you demand can be another