X

Sign Up

or

By signing up I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Sign Up

Sign Up With Facebook, Twitter, or Google

or


By signing up, I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Log In

or


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Forgot Password

To reset your password just enter the email address you registered with and we'll send you a link to access a new password.


Already a PT member? Log In

Don't have an account? Sign Up

  • Refurbish/Develop

    The Deeper I Dwelve.....the More Confusis !

    I didn't really see myself as a property developer but..... in hindsight, I must be. (18 houses in 25 years) I've flipped a few but mostly buy, renovate, stay and eventually sell. I've generally tripled my net each time - my gut speaks loud and clear. I'm about to invest again but with the current climate, I've decided to dwelve deep into the mechanics of the situation. Normally, I hire an architect, surveryors and let them sort it all out but I wanted to understand better the 'nitty gritty'.
    So far I have interviewed 8 builders with many more to come. All of them invest in top notch websites and have impressive work portfolios. Builder #1 tells me straight up that he charges £1300-1500/sq. mtr (new build) as he wants/needs to make £20k on the project. Builder # 2 tells me he charges the same but only wants to make £2k as he works with his men and gets paid weekly as well. The architect and related industry professionals tell me the standard is £1000/sq mtr. Builder #3 was the most impressive being predominately commercial property and ground work specialist (which I need) but he seemed more keen on me than the project.
    John Coreys' advice about know your numbers up front should apply here and I have yet to look at the specifics on this. My projects tick all of my necessary (key word here) boxes and as I am in for the long run (5-8 years) I may foolishly just stick with my gut. I fear if I would have looked at numbers in the past, I would not have proceeded. In this market it is foolish but as I dwelve deeper into the individual aspects, it becomes more confusing.
    If I do my numbers and it all fits..........how does one choose a builder or architect or planning advisor with confidence? I've checked out references of the 4 or 5 I am considering and decide 'WHO CAN I WORK WITH' over the next 8-9 months. My psychology training should give me an advantage of sussing out personalities, truths and porkies. I am now leaning to paying someone to be responsible for ALL and paying a premium as a result as the buck stops with the project manager and the tight contract I would draw.
    I've hit a blank stare in the mirror. Can someone offer some thoughts/perspective on going for more or less control of the nitty gritty.
    0
    0
    The buck can only stop with the person who has the bucks to pay for the project. If you pick one provider and they go bust then the buck did not stop. It shifted back to the client.
    I am not against paying a professional to oversee the full project. I am also not surprised when professionals get it seriously wrong. Normally it helps if the person or firm has a lot of experience with similar projects as they will know the hidden land mines. If guarantee is the key then make sure the assets or insurance policy can back up the guarantee without waiting multiple years.
    Go with your gut in terms of how you evaluate people if two have the same track record. This means you need a way to settle a tie if the facts say the same thing. I would never go with my gut in terms of the numbers. There are just too many numbers for my gut to know all of them. Get bids that break down the job rather than use an average per sq ft or sq meter.
    In my limited experience with new construction you want to pay hourly while the plans are being discussed and drawn up. Lots of give and take during the process. You need to box in the person working with you on the basics as they can not predict how long it will take to tease out your requirements.
    After the design is locked in then get fixed priced bids for labour and material. A good set of plans from an architect will have enough detail for a proper bid to be produced. Or use a professional to create a list of materials based on the plans and have that list bid. No builder can estimate the costs if there is no agreement on what will be done and what materials will be used.
    John Corey
    https://www.ChelseaPrivateEquity.com/blog
    https://www.twitter.com/john_corey
    0
    0

    John Corey 


    I host the London Real Estate Meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month since 2005. If you have never been before, email me for the 'new visitor' link.

    PropertyFortress.com/Events

    Also happy to chat on the phone. Pay It Forward; my way of giving back through sharing. Click on the link: PropertyFortress.com/Ask-John to book a time. I will call you at the time you selected. Nothing to buy. Just be prepared with your questions so we can use the 20 minutes wisely.

    Many thanks John - sound advice as usual. In the past I have not had the time to get nitty gritty and that is why I've hired project mgr or architect (whom I've worked on 5 projects) but now I have the time and have done so many projects, I think it's time I see what really goes on. Perhaps my main criteria is I can be a pushover and paying for a buffer might be the answer to save myself (or superglue my business hat on my head). The most experienced professional builder looked over the architects impressive presentation and said......"I think because you've known each other for so many years, he's taking liberties" My gut told me that too. I think I need to segregate what I WANT to control and what I should have others' control - once I decide that, the answers may fall into place. I'm not a control freak but I do lose it when advantage is being taken and as this is the first project w/o a spouse standing by to pass the tissues..........
    I fear offending people here but by HUGE experience, a lone woman is vulnerable in the building world. I would have to consistently be my own best client...........and get my head out of retirement mode. HUGE HELP, JOHN - THANK YOU.
    0
    0
    Many thanks Roberta. good points to consider. wish I could do hourly rate but on a complete rebuild, it shouldn't work as well as a 'finished project' price. my chaps in france were by the hour but with the number of spliffs they smoked, the days dragged on !!! I also know that costs rise with changes so it will have to be set in stone other than 'pigs in the blanket' as their called in the industry. I showed the builders MY PORTFOLIO of work - ie, I laid 2.5km of wiring, 3 terraces, knocked down 19 walls and removed the rubble myself - I look better dusty - wrinkles can't be seen easily. As I said to John, I am a pushover and too undertanding so I am thinking perhaps I need a middleman. What you write are all the little things and in between we need to think about.
    0
    0
    he seemed more keen on me than the project.
    Typical builder then ;-)
    Just some thoughts to add to the excellent advice above:
    The cheapest way to get any work done is day rate ... The dearest way to get any work done is day rate.
    Unless you have a relationship with a builder, or the contract is for a small period, I would be very mindful of employing a builder on day rate as it’s akin to gambling. Don’t get me wrong, there are some hard working and conscientious builders around but you really need to have known them for some time before taking that kind of gamble. The problem with day rate is you are taking away the incentive for the builder. They know they’re getting a fixed amount, no matter what, so will not be so ‘deadline orientated’. Sometimes it’s not a deliberate ‘feet dragging’ exercise to earn more money but more of a ‘target-less stroll’ to the finish line, understandable.
    In an ideal world you would come across a builder/project manager who has experience working for a small active company. This type of builder will have experience in all areas and therefore be able to liaise with all the separate professions on your project. Be great if you were able to poach a salaried builder who fit this criterion and was looking to go it alone – not the easiest thing.
    Again, in a perfect world your builder should be willing to show you receipts for everything purchased and be happy to discuss how much everyone is being paid. In return for this openness, they wouldn’t expect you to quibble about the 15% surcharge they added to the bill for the Limestone floor that they had just spent several days sourcing and negotiating on your behalf.
    This isn’t a put down of how others work it’s more of the way I see the perfect builder in your case i.e. someone you trust and someone who trusts you, partners in grime. Go with the most open one, the one you can talk too and not the necessarily the cheapest – unless you're lucky.
    This is how I used to work with people I knew well, so it does work. You probably wont be able to find someone matching all the above but hopefully it will give you some pointers.
    Good luck and I hope it all goes well.
    0
    0
    excellent marcus, thanks - some good tips. for a complete demo job and rebuild.....it's going to be a long haul. I will be doing most of the sourcing anyway direction from them. I might need to set up a ltd company to get the discount or perhaps they'll have more pull than myself. I can't imagine any builder demolishing and rebuilding an entire house on a day rate. Having done a 9 room extension...........I'm aware of deadlines and particularly living in france. If you put a penalty/deadline whilst talking quotes........they'd walk away. Very good pointers you've given..........food for thought. thanks again.
    0
    0