Renovation in a TRADE SHORTAGE
ENSURE YOUR RENOVATION RUNS SMOOTHLY – EVEN DURING CHALLENGING TIMES
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.