New Idea

Renovation in a TRADE SHORTAGE


- Barry Du Bois

As our situations change, our homes evolve to meet those changes. I’ve worked in the building industry my whole life and feel I’ve got a really good understand­ing of how it works. But during a recent renovation in my home, I found that the trade shortage in this country left me in a stalemate situation – I had a half-finished project and no tradies to do the work.

This can be frustratin­g, but there are a few steps you can take to help ensure your renovation goes smoothly.

First, plan ahead. This will give you more time to find workers who are available and willing to take on your project. You may want to ask around for recommenda­tions from friends and family, or consider contacting local trade organisati­ons. The other positive about finding local tradespeop­le is they often work with other local tradespeop­le, which will add to your network.

Clear communicat­ion is a must for any project, and a timeline map of your project is very important to have and to share. As you start dealing with the tradies for each sector, this path will change, so make sure everyone involved in the project has the most updated version at all times. It’s also important to realise certain sectors of your renovation are more critical to the flow of the job – there’s no sense having the gyprocker and the painter lined up if the electricia­n hasn’t got the wires in the walls.

Be prepared to pay a premium for some work, especially if it affects the critical path. In a situation where there is a shortage of tradespeop­le, you may need to pay a premium for their services. In any project, I would always calculate in the budget and a 10 per cent contingenc­y, but in this period where tradies are in high demand, I would raise my contingenc­y to 20 per cent just to give that buffer.

Adequate site storage and supply chain are equally crucial, because not only is there a shortage of tradespeop­le, there’s a shortage of material, so it’s important and sometimes financiall­y beneficial to make early purchases for materials. Adequate storage is very important so that things can be dry and easily available when the tradespeop­le require them.

My final tip is don’t be afraid to muck in. Let your lead contractor or the individual subcontrac­tors know that you’re happy to clean up and restack unused material. It’s about having them realise the importance of this project to you.

 ?? ?? Contacting a local trade organisati­on is a good start.
Contacting a local trade organisati­on is a good start.
 ?? ?? Early planning is a very crucial factor!
Early planning is a very crucial factor!
 ?? ??

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