Sometimes the builder gets a rough ride. Yes we all need to be careful, as there are a number of builders out there who will take advantage, given the chance. We have to do our due diligence and make sure we employ the right man for the job.

However, not all the delays and cost over-runs are down to the builder. Often the client makes changes and is uncertain what they want. This puts builders in a difficult position and some cope better than others. By that I mean some builders are very good at holding the hands of clients who lack the necessary knowledge.

I always say ‘changes cost money’ so avoid them if you can. I know it is easy to discover you want something different as you progress through your new home or development, but it is better to keep changes to a minimum and be clear what you want in the beginning.

If the builder is too advanced to absorb your change there is likely to be abortive costs and this may also result in programme delays. If changes persist the builder will get very disheartened or at least his workers will and the whole project can be in jeopardy.

Remember most builders have more than one project running and they sometimes take on too much work so if you make life difficult for them they will focus more on the other projects and yours will suffer. You will wonder why he has suddenly stopped coming in early or goes days with out appearing and making excuses. Your new home will become his hospital job!

So, I repeat. Get your project designed before you start. You can negotiate better before you award the project than afterwards when the builder is on site. Changes cost money!

All the time, I come across projects that start too early and could have benefitted from a delayed start with a more complete design. In the long run these projects cost more to complete than the loss of a few weeks at the beginning.

Don’t be another one who gives the builder a bad name. Make sure you are ready and keep to the plan!