PREFACE

The current uncertainty in the housing market means that more home-owners are choosing to improve and enlarge their existing homes rather than move. This has led to an upsurge both in DIY activities and in work for builders operating in the domestic construction market.

The general public is inundated with cost information on a wide range of subjects including domestic appliances, holidays and cars but hardly anything is available to them on the cost of home improvements and construction costs although surveyors, architects and engineers have had access to this type of information since 1860. This ebook has been prepared to fill that gap.

Some of this information has appeared before but new data has been introduced and the costs have been updated to bring them in line with current charge out rates.   

Part 3 of the ebook has been written for two types of home-owners. First, for those who are too infirm or busy to carry out improvements and repairs themselves. Costs are set out for a wide range of improvement works and this information will tell them what they should be paying contractors and this should reduce the chances of overpayment. Second, it is for those people who are capable of DIY work but wonder what savings in time and money could be achieved if they carried out the work themselves.

Parts 1 and 2 provides general advice on how to employ, pay and manage contractors plus a guide to cowboy spotting – unfortunately they don’t always wear stetsons and spurs! Information on contracts, planning permissions, building regulations, finance and grants is also included.

Parts 4 and 5 deal with self building. This is a fast growing section of the building industry and over 20,000 people build their own houses each year and another 200,000 think about it!


There are three main types of self builders – the intrepid type who lays every brick himself, the hands off type who employs a builder to do all the work and the most frequent type who manages the project by employing different tradesmen but also carries out some of the work himself. In Part 5 unit rates are included for a full range of construction work associated with self building.  

Part 6 includes information on total project costs for house extensions, loft conversions and conservatories. The costs of going green are also covered together with general construction data, a glossary of terms and the cost of plant and tool hire in Parts 7 to 10.

There are many women working in the building industry these days and where the pronoun ‘he’ or ‘him’ appears, it is intended to apply to both men and women. Although every care has been taken in the preparation of the contents of this ebook,  responsibility cannot be accepted for the result of the use of the information it contains.

 

 



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