Deal­ing with trades­peo­ple be­fore you start to build

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Con­firm or ver­ify that the per­son you are speak­ing to works for the com­pany that was re­ferred or rec­om­mended to you. If the per­son is vis­it­ing your premises, make sure you ask for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion such as a driv­ers li­cence be­fore al­low­ing the per­son to ac­cess. Con­sider check­ing ad­di­tional ref­er­ences, li­censes and/or trade reg­is­tra­tion and con­firm that they are still cur­rent. How­ever you should keep in mind that not all trades re­quire com­pul­sory li­cens­ing in New Zealand at this stage. Re­quest proof of Gen­eral Li­a­bil­ity in­surance which typ­i­cally cov­ers a trade pro­fes­sional for ac­ci­dents that oc­cur to third party prop­erty whilst car­ry­ing out their work. En­sure the con­tract is fi­nalised be­fore work com­mences. A good con­tract should be writ­ten on com­pany let­ter­head and con­tain the com­pany name, ad­dress, phone num­ber and li­cense num­ber (if ap­pli­ca­ble). It should also con­tain the cus­tomer’s name, ad­dress where work is to be per­formed and rel­e­vant phone num­bers. The date the con­tract is writ­ten and the date when both par­ties sign the con­tract and in­clude a de­tailed de­scrip­tion of the scope of work to be per­formed. The con­tract pro­vides prices or amounts associated with each main task in­cluded in the pro­ject and an an­tic­i­pated/es­ti­mated start and com­ple­tion date. Pro­vides a pay­ment sched­ule. In­cludes a ter­mi­na­tion clause. Con­tains a clause that pro­tects the cus­tomer or homeowner from any po­ten­tial war­ranty or guar­an­tees once you have paid the trade pro­fes­sional in full. Clearly states whether con­sents, per­mits or code of com­pli­ance cer­tifi­cates are re­quired, and who will be re­spon­si­ble for or­gan­is­ing them in­clud­ing how they will be paid for and by whom. Do not make pay­ments to any in­di­vid­ual, but rather to the com­pany. Al­ways ask for a re­ceipt when­ever a pay­ment is made. This way, you have proof of pay­ment if some­thing goes wrong and you need to make a claim. Do not pay in full un­til the pro­ject is com­pletely fin­ished and you have com­pleted your fi­nal in­spec­tion and are sat­is­fied with the work per­formed. If there are some mi­nor de­tails to com­plete, en­sure that suf­fi­cient monies are with­held un­til the is­sue is fixed. If sub-con­trac­tors were used by the trade pro­fes­sional, be sure to get signed re­leases from all sub-con­trac­tors clearly stat­ing that they have been paid in full by the trade pro­fes­sional. For larger projects, do not make the fi­nal pay­ment un­til you have passed the fi­nal build­ing and plumb­ing in­spec­tions, and all li­censes and coun­cil code of com­pli­ance cer­tifi­cates are is­sued. Do not ad­vance money to the trade pro­fes­sional to pur­chase ma­te­ri­als un­less this has been agreed in your con­tract and you are suf­fi­ciently pro­tected if some­thing goes wrong. If this is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary, make sure the ma­te­ri­als are de­liv­ered to your pro­ject premises with a re­ceipt show­ing that they have been paid in full. Al­ter­na­tively, you could pay the ma­te­ri­als sup­plier di­rectly your­self. Make sure all changes to the orig­i­nal con­tract, no mat­ter how small, are doc­u­mented, signed off and ini­tialled by both par­ties.

There is lit­tle point in­stalling a lav­ish kitchen, cost­ing a small for­tune into a very mod­est home. In the same re­spects cre­at­ing a bud­getary mas­ter­piece for your mil­lion dol­lar man­sion is also a les­son in fu­til­ity. It is im­por­tant that you get the right kitchen for your house. As a rule of thumb, plan to spend 2-4 per cent of the mar­ket value of your house.

Get the de­sign right first – the de­tails can be re­fined later. Inspiration can be found thumb­ing through mag­a­zines, news­pa­per ar­ti­cles, vis­it­ing open homes and surf­ing the net.

Cre­ate a time-line and make cer­tain that you or­gan­ise your trades­peo­ple well in ad­vance. In­clude their pric­ing struc­ture in your bud­get. Work out your ma­te­rial re­quire­ments. In­clude the cost of ap­pli­ances in your price be­fore mak­ing a fi­nal de­ci­sion.

Do struc­tural work first – chang­ing walls, win­dows etc. Re­move the old kitchen.

In­stall the new kitchen, ap­pli­ances, and bench tops.

Fin­ish off plumb­ing, elec­tri­cal, and dec­o­ra­tive work such as floor­ing, light­ing, tiling, and fi­nal paint­ing.

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