How to get on well with your builder: six tips

When it comes to renovating or redesigning a space, the most stressful part can be the project management. You probably won’t end up on Cowboy Builders, but you may end up in a few arguments with your builder. Keen for things to run as smoothly as possible? Follow these six tips…

1. Take care when choosing your builder, don’t go for the one promising you the earth for the least amount of money. There definitely is such a thing as too good to be true.

2. Employ your own project manager, they will earn their fee several times over by keeping the budget and delivery date on schedule.

3. Only deal with your project manager or the foreman. Consider the rest of the team to be someone else’s employees – which is what they are. Your job will get confused if you start asking various painters, electricians and plumbers to do things – leave that to the people you are paying.

4. Make sure  you have a schedule of works from your foreman or project manager and that you deliver the information they need in good time. For example, the sanitary ware, lighting schedule, paint colours etc., so that you don’t hold the job up.

5. Try not to change your mind too much! While you are entitled to, you need to be considerate of the effect this will have on the people making your vision happen and the project timeline.

6. Correspond by email and anything you decide on site should be followed up in writing – if you want to be sure it happens.

MORE: Just getting started on a project? Then why not come to one of Rita’s design workshops, held at her home in West London? ‘The Complete House’ includes practical advice on room layouts, kitchen design and lighting plans and her new workshop ‘The Complete House 2’ covers everything from flooring and curtains to garden design and desks.  The workshops are run over consecutive days for those who’d like to attend both.

SHOP: Surely the best part of having builders in is seeing them go! Leaving you to your fabulous new space, ready to add the perfect finishing touches. See below for some suggestions from Rita.