It’s a fact that as an individual or organization, one of the most financially demanding projects you will probably ever embark on in your entire life time is a building project. The average person will buy expensive cars, enroll their children in high – end schools, embark on luxurious holiday trips and spend their hard earned money on the beautiful things of life. Still none of all these will likely amount to the cost of successfully carrying out a building project.
Having established the fact that a building project will likely be your most expensive project ever, then you really want to take this article very seriously so you don’t make the same mistakes others have made in the past. The slightest wrong move you make on any aspect of your building project can cost you hundreds of thousands or millions or even the entire building.
I’ll be sharing with you tips and ideas from my wealth of knowledge garnered from over 16years of very active and consistent practice in building design and construction. Here are they;
- RESOLVE TO WORK WITH ONLY QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS
From the moment you decide to embark on a building project, you need to tell yourself that you must only engage real professionals in the building industry for every aspect of the project. A lot of clients often make the mistake of trying to be smart by going for people who they think will give them cheaper offers. So instead of contacting an experienced Architect, they rather contact a draughtsman, instead of contacting an experienced contractor, builder or Engineer, they will contact an experienced mason man who now claims to be an Engineer, to handle their building. It beats my imagination how people will always look for the best and most competent Doctor to handle their health matters and are always willing to pay any price for their services, but when it comes to the most expensive project they’d probably embark on, they will choose quacks or look for cheap labour.
If you want to end up with an excellent building, you must take a decision to prioritize competence and expertise over cost. If you prioritize cost over competence, you will end up paying heavily for it. So firstly, settle it in your mind that for no reason will you ever opt for handling any aspect of your building to an unqualified and untrained person. Before you make a final choice on which professionals to work, always do proper due diligence.
Ask questions about the competence and character of the persons you consider working with. Insist that they show you previous projects they have been involved in. if you can, reach out to their past clients to find out about them.
Some professionals could be very competent on the job but lack integrity. Though they may eventually deliver a good job, but could be notorious for giving their clients a very tough and bitter experience due to their bad character. So you have to be careful with who you work with to avoid regrets.
Some key professionals you will need are
- An Architect to do the design of the building
- A Quantity Surveyor to cost the project
- A Contractor or Engineer to handle the construction of the building
- COUNT THE COST
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if he has enough money to pay the bills?” Luke 14:28 TBL
One big mistake many people do is to attempt starting a building of any kind without first counting the cost. Many people will say “let us just begin first, and trust God to provide.” Yes, it is a very good thing to always trust God to provide, but it is even better to know the exact amount of money you are trusting God to provide, that’s why it is highly important to get a Quantity Surveyor to cost the project first. So that you can plan on how to fund the project based on how much you have saved up and your current level of income.
When you have an idea of the cost of the project you’re about to embark on, you can then make better projections on how long the project will take based on the source of funding. Also having an idea of cost, helps proper budgeting to make allowance and provision for the funding of the project.
- MAKE AN EXECUTION PLAN
After counting the cost, you have to plan how to fund the project, based on your level of income. Decide how much you can afford to put into the project and discipline yourself to stick to the plan. Don’t ever wait to have all you need before you can start. As long as you have a realistic funding plan, don’t delay any further. Start from where you are with what you have. The universe has a way of working things out in our favour from the moment we decide to take that bold step. Remember, one key factor that will help you achieve the project is discipline, financial discipline. You must discipline yourself to stick to the execution plan as much as possible. Staying disciplined means, making the necessary lifestyle adjustments and cutting down spending on certain things that may not be very expedient during the duration of the project.
- KEEP CLOSE TABS WITH THE PROGRESS OF THE PROJECT
As the project progresses, even though you have competent, professionals handling it for you, it’s very important to keep in touch with them and also visit the site regularly, to be sure you are satisfied with everything you see. If you are not close by to the location of the project, insist that they send you pictures and videos of the work as often as necessary.
The reason is that; certain things are better appreciated on ground than on paper. As a layman, you may not be able to appreciate the sizes of the spaces in the house properly on paper until you see them physically. So you want to keep tabs to ensure that everything is coming out to your satisfaction 100%. You don’t want to have a finished building with many regrets and things you wish you could change. So it’s important to follow through every aspect of the project and don’t hesitate to make changes and amends where you deem necessary.
Whatever the case, ensure to monitor the project closely and ensure you are very happy with the outcome of every aspect of the building. Do not assume anything, rather ask proper questions and get good clarity from your builder, should there be anything you don’t understand properly.
Finally, let me emphasize again on the need to involve experienced professionals on your building project. Also it is always better to use the best quality materials, they may cost more, but will last longer. Insist on the best quality at most affordable price.