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Hi guys! It’s Naomi Findlay here, your Rapid Renovation expert. Today I wanted to talk to you a little about what goes on during renovation game play – and what you can do to save a few pennies during that time.
So, you have your hand-picked B-List. You already know the tradies that you’ll be working with – the plumber, the electrician, the licensed builder, the carpenter, the painter and so on and so forth.
And that’s great, because good tradies are worth their weight in gold. They will make life during renovating a heck of a lot easier and will minimise the risk of anything going wrong. They’ve got your back.
So, have you already got fixed quotes for all these guys and their scope of work? Is every hour of their time accounted for before you even pick up the shovel?
It’s okay if it’s not. Stuff like the kitchen cabinetry and splashback you can get a fixed quote for. And this is important for working out your budget (have a look at some of my other posts on budget if you’re still a little stuck on it).
But sometimes, the sort of renovations that you want to have done don’t have an exact dollar figure. Or maybe the quote that was presented to you only covers certain elements of work.
For example, sometimes site preparation quotes – things like excavating, demolishing and clearing the site – can fall short of what’s required when the renovation project actually begins.
Things like the type of soil and the slope of the land can affect how much labour goes into this part of the renovation. It may turn out that there’s a lot more soil to be moved than what was originally thought, and that will be outside of your agreed scope of work. Or it could turn out that there is a large slab of rock that needs to be excavated before adding that sun room, and it is generally pretty hard to give a firm estimate of how much that will cost or how long it will take to move.
When you aren’t relying on a fixed price, the cost of having a tradie onsite can escalate pretty quickly if you don’t keep a close eye on it. And the biggest way those costs will spiral out of control is by taking up too much of your tradies’ precious time.
After all, time equals money. For you, and for your tradies.
So, to save your tradies’ time, and in turn save you your hard-earned cash, here are four tips that will come in handy onsite. And although they may not look like much, remember that every little bit counts when you’re renovating for wealth.
1. Keep as much as you can onsite
Picture this: your plumber rocks up with his ute, pulls out the wheelbarrow, then starts carrying all of his necessary tools on site – the jackhammer, the pipes, the spanners, the blow torch – and it goes on and on and on for the first half an hour of the day. Then, when he’s done for the day, the whole process is done in reverse. Another half an hour gone.
Now imagine that every one of your tradies is spending time doing the same thing.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just have him leave all of this essentials on the actual property? It would certainly save a lot of setting up and packing away time. Even if those tradies are on a fixed priced contract with you, don’t you want to make things a little easier for them and save them that effort?
If there is a space on the property where tradies can leave their stuff locked away securely, it will mean a world of difference. Not only will you save money, but you will end up with happier tradies – and who doesn’t want a happy tradie working on their renovation project?
2. Keep it neat and tidy
The second point is all about how clean your site is. Sure, it’s a construction site, and the nature of construction sites is that they get dusty, and dirty and messy. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do things to minimise that.
Just because it’s a construction site, doesn’t mean your tradies have to endure filthy conditions.
Yes, the carpenter might have been the one to leave that extra dust on the floor. Or the tiler may have trudged in with muddy boots. But always remember the reason you have them there in the first place.
If your electrician has to come in and sweep away dust and dirt before getting into the actual wiring side of things, you’re not only wasting his time and your money, but you’re also dampening his enthusiasm for the project.
Let the tradies stick to what they’re good at – a plumber should remain a plumber, and a carpenter a carpenter.
So, pick up the rubbish and sweep up that sawdust, and make it easier and safer for yourself and your valuable tradies.
3. Be the personal assistant
Anyone want a coffee?
This third tip is all about being the errand boy. I know that may not sound too great, and I’m not suggesting that you let your tradies take advantage of you by doing their every bidding.
But it is mutually beneficial if you help out by checking up on supplies or yes, even grabbing a coffee for them. After all, this is as much about efficiency onsite as it is about building good relationships. And if you’re going to want to continue renovating for wealth, this is a good place to start.
Plus, the less time your tradies spend offsite chasing up supplies, the more time they will spend on the actual renovations. So, call up those tile distributors, pick up those timber sleepers and lend a helping hand where you can.
4. Roll up your sleeves
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to get a little dirty.
Even if you are paying tradies to do most of the grunt work, there’s nothing stopping you rolling up your sleeves and getting involved. See how much of the job you can do yourself — you plumber may need to put the piping in, but can you dig the hole and move that dirt? Or pipe up and ask your tradie whether you can be the muscle, such as pushing the wheelbarrow or lugging the tools.
Doing the unskilled stuff yourself could save you in labour costs, and get the job done faster. Plus, you could pick up some skills along the way.
So, save yourself time and money, and build stronger relationships with your tradies with these four tips.