Being available to direct your tradespeople is an easily overlooked part of the renovation process, and one that can take much more time than anticipated. Today we continue with lesson 5 in the series. . . . .
Hi, welcome back to 7 Renovation Lessons Learned by a Financial Adviser, which is me, Luke Hanson, Director at My Financial Design. Today, we’re going to be looking at lesson number 5 Onsite oversight.
Some people don’t have the luxury of living close by their renovation if it’s an investment property. If you’re living out of the property that you’re renovating, you’d probably love the luxury of not living out of where the renovation’s happening. But look, if you can be onsite as much as possible it’s a really good thing. You don’t want to be, you know, getting in the way of the trades as they’re trying to do their work and peering over their shoulder and checking every little thing.
But I find if you can check in once a day or every second day, but if you can be onsite, the less communication breakdowns occur. For example, when we were looking at the bathroom that I was renovating, we had to change the layout a little bit. And there was a couple of different designs that were floating out at multiple points. And there was a bit of confusion as to which one we actually settled on. If I wasn’t there at the time and kind of just having a conversation and mentioning something, it kind of come up, “Oh, didn’t you want this?” or “No, I wanted that.”
And so just because we’re able to work it out there on the day with, you know, no dramas at all, but just because it was free-flowing conversation, we’re able to get that sort of straight away rather than having to rectify a problem once it occurred later on within the renovation process. So being there, having that daily communication, if you’re not onsite, I encourage you to get your trades to send you photos of the work they’ve done and have that communication, a phone call or a series of text messages at the end of the day.
It’s so important to have that constant communication and talking through things as part of the daily checkup of what’s going on. You also want to make sure that you’re communicating between the trades. So if you’re not having a builder oversight, everything, but you’re engaging individual trades yourself and managing it yourself, you want to make sure that you’re letting trades know, Hey, the electrician came yesterday and this is the problems, or this is the things they’ve identified or they’ll be back on Friday. And, you know, I’d like you to be finished up on Thursday or, you know, really sharing and spreading that communication amongst the trades, because it’s really up to you to make sure everything goes seamless. And if they’re people who haven’t worked together, for example, they may not have each other’s phone numbers.
But that comes back to one of those lessons earlier on that if you can get trades who have worked with each other before and know each other and know how each other work, and have got their phone numbers and making kind of problem solve and workshop things amongst themselves, great. But if that’s not the case, you need to be that person holding the glue together between all those trades. So make sure that you’re onsite to provide the oversight as much as possible, if not do it remotely, but make sure you have that communication between you and the trades and make sure that your sharing the vision of what’s going on and making sure everyone’s updated along the way, because nothing beats you being there in person.
And the other thing is that I found for me, things cropped up along the way that I hadn’t anticipated or thought of. This is the first renovation I’ve done. So you kind of can only anticipate so much and it’s not until you’re there and go, Oh, well, I wasn’t expecting that or I didn’t know that or didn’t think about that. But if you are noticing, and seeing things, you’ll get different ideas and you can chat with people Oh I was planning to do this, but now I can see that this is going to work a little bit better or different. You’ve kind of got those opportunities while you’re there.
So for example, in the bathroom, we ended up hanging two towel rails instead of one. And because I was there and kind of saw that where I would put the noggin behind there and support that rather than just putting the second towel rail straight into gyprock and having that fall down in six months’ time or 12 months’ time. So they’re the little things, the little 1%’s that if you’re onsite for, you can see, you can adjust along the way and it’s going to make a great product at the end of the day, because you’ve been there to really add your little view and vision, making sure everything’s coming together with the little details of day-to-day.
Stay tuned for the next lesson coming up.