Things to think about when doing major house alterations

Doing major work to a home is a very serious undertaking and one that shouldn’t be entered lightly. As soon as you have builders on site there is going to be stress. The bigger the work that is getting done the more expensive it will be, the more expectations there will be and the more chance there will be for things to go wrong. But it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. There is plenty of scope for a good ending, the process just needs to be managed well and clearly thought through. So, in an effort to help you head those unforeseen disasters off at the pass, here are some tips to help you plan the process.

Use experts

When you do major alterations, you want to work with the best. Sure, you want a competitive price, but don’t make your choice of contractor based on price. It is easy to be suckered by a good price at the start of the job, but if that is your sole criteria you will be paying in pain long before the job is done. There are plenty of builders Parramatta and Sydney have loads to choose from. Base your choice on reputation and get references – lots of them. The same applies to others who might be involved in the project – people like architects, plumbers, electricians or quantity surveyors.


If there are going to be external walls knocked down, then you are creating a major security risk. If this is the case, then remember that you will need to factor security costs into the overall budget. Also, try to ensure that the wall and security weak points are down for as short a time as possible. The other thing to remember is that even if all the walls remain intact, you will have people in your house. It is not to say that labourers are thieves, but make sure that any temptations are kept safely out the way.

Moving out

Depending on the scale of the work you might want to consider moving out of your house entirely. This is often very costly as it means packing the house and booking into a hotel or crashing with family. But it does mean that you escape dust and noise and living in a construction site. Moving out is expensive though – and when budgeting on alternative accommodation costs make sure that you factor in possible delays. You may well find that you need to stay away from the house for longer than you originally anticipated.

Penalty clauses

Not many jobs end on schedule, it is simply the way of construction. But also, the way deals are structured with builders often does not incentivize them to finish on time. When negotiating terms look to structure something that will either reward them financially if they finish ahead of schedule or which is punitive if they are late. A properly structured deal with good project management will see you back in your house on time with the job properly done. It is what you need to be striving for – push for it.