7 Tips For Owner Builders

Much of our work in Ballarat lately has been with owner builders who are either building from scratch or doing major renovations.

Here is our quick guide for owner builders with regards to organising the plumbing.

1. Your Availability

The first step is being extremely organised and available. If you’re owner builder then regular meetings with all the trades involved is important for the progress of your project. Your availability for receiving deliveries is also important. Before you even contemplate being an owner builder beware it can sap your time and energy and you don’t want to be the cause of any delays.

2. Budgeting

Make sure you have enough funds to see the project through. If you are  managing the project and are new to building then it might be a good idea to get a couple of quotes from builders. Builders will generally add a mark up for plumbers, electricians and carpenters (upwards of 20%) as a management fee. All trades expect to be paid for work to date.

3. Planning For Success

Planning is one of the most vital areas whether it’s a small renovation job or you have plans from an architect. As tradesman we need to see the plans regularly especially if there are any updates so make sure they are accessible via email and onsite. This also includes scheduling – who is doing what and when!

4. Building A Team

Building a team of compatible tradies will ensure your build will go smoothly. Many times we have seen pipes drilled through and drainage damaged by low quality trades people. We need to work together and communicate effectively with one another so choose experienced tradesman that will support you and each other. We can help you with recommendationms with other tradies we have worked with in the past.

Make sure your team is licensed, has insurance and check out a few references.

5. Plumbing Products & Materials

PCA is the Plumbing Code Of Australia requires that certain plumbing and drainage products and materials are certified materials and authorised to be used in a plumbing or drainage installation.
They have a scheme called Watermark that ensure plumbing products and materials are fit for purpose. If you have bought some dodgy taps from Ebay that aren’t certified no reputable plumber will install them.

6. The Little Things

Its important to be on the ball so laminated site plans onsite, a list of the trades working on site with their contact details and organised onsite access are some of the small things that will immediately make your project run smoothly. In fact its a good idea to ask your team of tradies what they need to make sure your project runs on time and within your budget.

7. Choosing The Right Plumber

Nearly all plumbing work requires its own license whether its gas-fitting, sewerage, roofing, hot water systems and so on. Make sure you choose a plumber that can do the work from the kerb to the roof so you are not left short.(we can help you here) It’s more efficient to have one plumbing company do all the work than add to the burden of multiple providers

Building your own home or major renovations can be hugely rewarding both physically and financially and give you a great return on your time and energy. If you are inexperienced then we can advice you on how to save money and the best way of proceeding. Planning is the key! Contact Wayne Castleman today with a brief description of your project.


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