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Following Building Systems

It still amazes me the number of times people commence a project totally unaware of what to do, when to do it, and in some cases, totally oblivious to the process.

It would be like me pulling a motor apart using just a shifting spanner and hammer.

For a start… I wouldn’t even know where to start! I wouldn’t know what tools to use, and more importantly, I wouldn’t know how to get the thing back together again! This is why we have people called ‘mechanics’. Of course it’s possible for me to one day successfully pull apart a motor and re-assemble it again so that it is in a workable order. But first I’d need to learn how by doing a course or by having a qualified person guide me.

The same goes for building a home. You need to learn how to do it successfully and get advice from someone who is not only qualified, but willing to help. There is also another important component to a successful Owner Builder Project: you being open to following the advice of that qualified helper.

In the early days of UBuild Homes we had a client who had a set of hand drawn plans for his building project. He had sent them to council and several months later still had no response. In a bout of frustration he came to UBuild Homes for help.

Once we identified his issues we understood why council was taking so long. This fellow had been challenging to deal with, and was totally clueless as to what to do, when to act, and so on. We also discovered he did not have his finance for the building project in order, and had alienated his banker. Because of all of these issues he decided to get UBuild Homes involved to clean up his mess. To be honest, if we had known what we know now, we would never have taken him onboard. And then despite our recommendations Mr X refused to have a professional plan drawn because his ‘builder mate’ had drawn up his project’s plans.

Once Mr X got started, issues continued to arise and problems kept popping up due to many reasons, including:

  1. The poor quality plans were causing suppliers issues – in particular the frames and truss company which caused cost blow outs in the thousands of $$$.
  2. Mr X would not use the steps, work orders, etc. of the UBuild system, and instead engaged trades verbally. When the variations due to his communication poured in, they again cost thousands of $$$.
  3. Construction slowed up due to rumours of site difficulties.
  4. Construction was halted by the bank because Mr X could not access any further funds.
  5. Mr X could not pay trades and more rumours circulated around town for trades not to touch this job as the money had run out.
  6. The Real Estate Agents then have had difficulty finding a buyer for this unfinished project.

The moral of this story is: if you don’t know how a motor works or you don’t know how to manage a building project, don’t! Learn how to, get advice from those who know, and most importantly – follow it!

Be a Nice Pest

Need to get things done in a timely fashion? Such as get a Plan passed through Council? Or get a Supplier to replace damaged goods?

Well, then be a pest – but be a nice one.

Unfortunately, some people who want things done just don’t know the right way to be a pest. That sounds strange, I know, but there is a difference between being a Nice Pest and an Annoying Rash.

Being a Nice Pest is about calling often, enquiring on how the job is progressing, and influencing the person responsible for providing you with a service to do it in a speedy fashion – so they can get rid of you! You’re just nibbling gently at the service provider’s conscience to get the job done. Eventually they will get your file to the top of the list just to make you go away. The trick is to be nice and pester gently and often.

The Annoying Rash approach is aggressive, arrogant or overpowering. If you are a bully you may find yourself being totally ignored and the service you were hoping for might either be well below par or never eventuate at all. But then don’t make the mistake of going to the other extreme. If you are quiet and fail to follow up on what you want, you could be waiting for a very long time. Remember, there is a larger percentage of unreliable and inefficient employees than there are efficient ones.

Stick to Your Budget

Beware! It is very easy to be drawn into spending more on early stage items of your Owner Builder Project and start blowing your budget. Therefore it is essential to be disciplined and track your budget with a fool-proof system. UBuild Homes are very paricular about this and have a proven budget system set up for Owner Builders and Kit Home Builders. With the system you can log all your costs, compare prices, log signed off variations and monitor all outgoings every step of the way.

If you decide to go it alone by not taking advantage of UBuild’s experience, follow the rule: ‘Every cheque I write must be covered by my budget’. It will help you to comfortably survive the Owner Building Experience!

Welcome to Owner Builder Advice

Hello and welcome to Owner Builder Advice, a division of UBuild Homes, providing Owner Builders with Kit Home Supplies, Systems and Services.

Over the coming weeks you’ll discover tips, tools and tactics to help your Owner Builder Project run smoothly, efficiently, and within the scheduled time and budget.