4 ways to avoid falling into the trap of paying extras that were not planned for!

If you are doing a refurb as a money making venture, then getting billed for extras can tip the bank balance in the wrong direction!

It can easily happen to the best of us, and it’s not what you want!

Always check you know exactly what you’re getting and what it will cost you before any work is done, this sounds very basic I know, but how many times have you taken on a tradesman on a verbal agreement?  Easily done, particularly if it is with someone you already know personally, or have worked with before?  I know I have! But the lines can be blurred if you don’t have a detailed written quote and I can tell you from experience, others’ understanding of an agreement may differ from yours! It’s not only disappointing when you don’t get what you expected, but it’s costly if changes you ask for are followed by an invoice you didn’t budget for.  If you are being charged on a day rate, boy it can soon escalate!  So always allow for some extras in your budget, as they are inevitable.  If you have none at the end, then you’re quids in, and off to Ibiza!

But, do take a stand if you think your builder is being unreasonable! At times tradesmen under estimate how much work it takes to complete a job, and will just put in a bill because it took longer or cost more… this is something i have struggled with as I know it is not my fault, but also hate the thought of anyone losing money on my account, or working for nothing! But if you are doing a project to make money, then every penny counts! Don’t let it be yours!

Taking on a refurb project can be like opening up a can of worms sometimes, even if you had a survey.   Remember there are areas your surveyor may not be able to reach!  He can’t move furniture, pull up carpets or look under floorboards in someone’s house to see if there is woodworm or not, and that’s just one example.

So, dot the I’s and cross the T’s at every step, it’s a very worthwhile exercise.  If you can, try not to change your mind once you have decided on a plan, if you want to stay within your budget! If you do make changes, then agree them in advance, and get it in writing!

Lisa Gershinson