Builder in Stafford Adviceline – My 7 Top Tips To Help You Decide Whether To Do Building Alterations Yourself

More great info from our Builder in Stafford Adviceline!

For most people looking at a substantial building alteration project, the first question is simply: To Do It Yourself Or Not to Do it Yourself? So here are my Top 7 Tips to help you decide.

Tip 1 – What Exactly Is Your Project?

Building alterations covers lots of things. A building alteration might be a new bathroom or kitchen installation. Or maybe it’s a cavity wall, house extension, making a porch, adding a conservatory, rewiring, household repairs or stone cladding.

Some are things that people can easily do on their own, many are better off being done by a professional builder. It all depends on how complicated it is – and what your own skills are. But generally, the bigger and more specialist the project is, well, the more important it is to use a specialist professional.

Tip 2 – Does It Involve Different Skills or Specialist Trades?

If your project involves a number of different trades, that’s another good indication that you will be better off with a professional. If you want a complete new extension, you’ll need heating, plumbing and wiring as well as building work – and everything has to be done in the right order. Even if you know what that order is, juggling all those different pieces in the jigsaw can be a nightmare.

A real specialist like me can cover most of these different specialist areas within my team. And we have a team of other professionals that we use, who are reliable as well as experts. So we can make sure everything happens in the right order and it all runs smoothly.

Tip 3 – Do You Need Permissions?

You have to remember that you do need permits for building alteration. For example you’ll need planning permission for most new building works or changes in the use of land or buildings. Some things you might not expect, can be classed as a “new” building – like rebuilding a wall that’s fallen down. It’s all pretty complicated and depends on exactly what you are planning.

Even for alterations where you don’t need planning permission you may need to apply for building regulation approval. Or for electrical certificates. Or even listed building consent. It may depend on whether you are in a conservation area. Or if your property has “permitted development rights”. It may depend on the size of your house relative to the size of what you are planning.

It’s your duty to make sure you have these papers before you start anything. If you get it wrong, you might even have to demolish your lovely new extension!

Experts like me know what needs planning permission and what doesn’t and I can help you with finding the right forms, when to send them off, and then liasing with the Council’s building inspectors.

If you need a permission, it’s a pretty good indication that your project is a complex one and you’ll need specialist skills for the building project itself too.

Tip 4– Do You Have the Time?

Time is a killer. Never underestimate a building project. Yes, you’ve heard all those horror stories about projects that run and run. Your friends talking about some “little” project that was going to be done in a week. And 6 Months later it’s still not finished.

Well, often it’s because people underestimate the time – because they aren’t professionals so they don’t quite appreciate everything that’s involved. They didn’t realise about lead times for supplies. They didn’t allow for drying and setting times. They forgot the hire shop is shut on Sunday. (That’s exactly what had happened to one recent visitor to the Builder in Stafford website!). They just didn’t allow for the unexpected problem that cropped up.

But mostly, it’s because life just takes over. The kids need to go to football. Or netball. Or a film. The dog needs walking. Your parents come for the weekend. Your best friend shows up wanting a chat and coffee.

When you get back late after a hard day at work, do you really want to spend your evening outside in the cold and dark digging foundations or mixing cement? Wouldn’t you rather be relaxing with a beer or a glass of wine?

Tip 5 – Do You Have A Deadline?

Another time question! If you want your special project done by a specific date, well you want to make sure it really is done. Not dragging on and on…

Come Christmas Day, you don’t want a half finished kitchen, waiting for the oven to be installed! And you don’t want to be waiting for new windows for the extension to arrive when the worst storm this winter hits.

Tip 6 – Do You Have The Right Skills?

Of course, some people love DIY and are well capable of doing minor repairs. Or even larger projects. Just make sure you know how to do a great job for all the elements of your building project. Of course you may be brilliant at some of these key skills. But are you up to date? A specialist stays on top of the latest techniques and materials and has the right, heavy duty, equipment.

There are so many Do-It-Yourself products that seem to be the easiest things in the world to do, and some are. But altering a part of your home can be dangerous, stressful, annoying and really tiring. You can’t stop the project half way through because something came up. You don’t have a warranty either, if anything goes wrong. And if you mess up, you could end up paying even more to have it fixed and then get the work done.

So, if you’ve got any doubts, or would just like to chat about the pros and cons for your project, please just visit my official website to contact me: – click on the link below -

Richard Weals – the UK’s Leading renovation and restoration expert

Thanks for visiting my Builder in Stafford Adviceline!