What are 'Part Works Arrangements' and why are they best avoided?

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

There have always been DIY books and tip sheets that show people how to perform skilled tasks they were previously unfamiliar with.

With the rise of the internet, and the ‘youtube tutorial’ in particular, the amount of informational renovation resources available has grown exponentially. Overall, this is great – just last year I managed to take apart and fix my computer by following a step by step guide from a university student on the continent. I felt a great deal of satisfaction fixing the thing myself, and saved some money in the process.

Others have been using these types of online DIY tutorials to tackle renovation projects, and are building their own patios, extensions, kitchens, bathrooms and so on. For a select few, this is great. Those who possess the aptitude, desire and skillset to perform their own renovation, but are simply lacking the knowledge, can benefit greatly from these types of tutorials.

The trouble is, there are only a handful of people in a thousand who can start, finish and follow through with particular DIY house projects, leaving a great deal of people approaching these DIY renovations with the greatest will and intention in the world, but leaving behind a botched up, unfinished and incomplete job. Often, a builder is called in to finish off this half started job, and this can be the source of a lot of problems on both ends.

Though the homeowner may have invested considerable time and money (not to mention blood, sweat and tears) towards getting the job partially done, getting

a cheap quotation for someone to finish off what you’ve started only compounds the problem. Even if you do find someone who agrees to ‘patch up and make good what you’ve started’, the situation can often devolve into a mess, which then requires a new contractor to come and re-do the job from scratch. This will ultimately cost you more money.

As someone who loves building, I would certainly encourage people interested in doing so to give DIY projects a try. If you’re one of the select few who can complete the job – congratulations! Go have yourself a pint and celebrate. You’ve earned it. If you are one of the many who have come to the realization that renovations are not for you – please consider hiring a contractor to start the job from scratch, then join the other guy for a pint in celebration of the fact that you just saved a lot of money and stress by avoiding a ‘part works’ agreement with an unqualified builder!