How to minimize risks in home construction if you’re in California?
Any type of large renovation or construction project can pose many risks that could impact the overall build. This could be from a safety aspect, costs, timescales, and end product. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize such risks, ensuring hiccups can be avoided.
In this article, we will discuss how to minimize risks in home construction if you’re in California. However, many of our tips can be applied nationwide. The key to reducing risk is largely dependent on good planning which is where we will start.
What are common risks in home construction projects?
Safety isn’t the only risk when it comes to a home construction project, risk can also relate to the standard and the completion of the project. Hiring the wrong contractor, for example, can severely hinder the project, resulting in mistakes that need to be rectified and the sub-par contractor being sacked part way through construction.
Around 25% of homeowners in the US fire their contractor during a project due to factors such as delays, a lack of communication, or a poor standard of work. This risk is avoidable if thorough research is conducted when choosing your service provider, a process that many Americans underestimate.
Risks that could be encountered during a home construction project in California include:
- Safety Risks – This could involve a worker being injured during an accident on-site. Therefore, you should ensure that you and your contractor have the relevant insurance to cover you for such an incident.
- Alterations to the initial design – Any alterations to the project would result in a change order, usually incurring additional costs. A change order may be required if you choose to alter the design, add or cancel renovation tasks, revise schedules, re-negotiate prices, or any other amendment to the original contract.
- Sub-standard designs and drawings – Incomplete or inaccurate designs can also present a great amount of risk, as it would require the contractor to improvise or cause a delay so that the designs can be updated. Failing to define a clear scope for the contractor is a common mistake that results in disruption.
- Contracts – Poorly written or vague contracts can mean you are left unprotected should anything go wrong and you may not be entitled to a refund. If you are unsure about anything, have the contract checked by a legal professional.Find out more about SOD Home Group’s completion Guarantee.
- Site Conditions – When laying foundations or removing old ones, it may be discovered that the site is unsuitable for a construction project and groundwork may be needed to level out areas.
- Material Costs and availability – Material costs can fluctuate regularly, catching some people off-guard. Be prepared that the cost of materials when you made your original plans may have changed since. It is recommended to try and order your materials as soon as possible to avoid potential price increases.In addition, there may also be a shortage of specific building materials in your local area. You may need to wait for the material to be restocked, or choose an alternative material.
- Labor Issues – People can get sick or have personal emergencies. This can result in a labor shortage, affecting the timescale of the project and is an unavoidable risk.
- Equipment – Equipment, if left on-site can be stolen, or perhaps damaged during construction. Your contractors cannot work without the necessary equipment.
- Supply Chain and Subcontractors – Some elements are out of your contractor’s hands and occasionally they may be let down by suppliers and the subcontractors they work with.
- Project Management – Choosing an inexperienced contractor could lead to a disorderly working environment with poor project management. When choosing a contractor, it is crucial to ask for references from previous clients to determine if they are reliable.
- Natural Disasters – As unlikely and as extreme as it may sound, it has been known for home construction projects to be delayed or damaged by natural disasters. Disasters could include wildfires, earthquakes, and flooding.
How can construction risks be prevented?
The best way to prevent construction risks is by planning everything to the finest detail, however, there are always some issues that will be out of your control. Based on the list in the above section, we have compiled a brief checklist to make sure you have done all you can to maintain the integrity of the project.
- Plan your budget, materials, and timescales
- Arrange any necessary financing and ensure you have the means to repay
- Create detailed designs and drawings
- Thoroughly research local contractors, asking for portfolios and references
- Order building permits before any work commences
- Purchase materials as soon as possible
- Ensure you and your contractor have the relevant insurance
- Have a legal professional check over any contracts
Detailed Designs and Specifications to minimize risk
It is worth reiterating just how important your designs, drawings, and specifications are to ensure a smooth project. This makes life much easier for your contractor, helping to avoid any unwanted results.
When creating your designs and specifications for your home construction project, there are a number of things that can be easily overlooked, causing issues further down the line.
Design aspects that are often not included in the initial designs are:
- Windows and doors specifications and planned installation dates
- Wall specifications
- Metal finishes
- Wood finishes
- Drywall finishes
- Flashing, siding, and exterior seals
- Ceiling details and lighting
- Plumbing fixtures
- Interior design specifications such as the size of the space and elevations
As you can see, your designs and plans need to be meticulous which is why it is usually advised to consult with an architect and a professional designer to help you create these drawings and specifications. Attempting this yourself without the necessary experience would be difficult and problematic.
What is SOD #Ignite and how it can help with your next home construction project?
#Ignite is a project created by SOD Home Group to help remove the frustrations and potential risks of home construction or renovation projects. A lack of communication is one of the main stumbling blocks when it comes to having a successful relationship with your contractor. #Ignite aims to alleviate these potential communication issues.
What is #Ignite?
#Ignite looks to prevent six of the key problems that Californians may face during a home construction project. These are; poor communication, unrealistic expectations, an unprofessional workforce, a poor level of service, an increase in stress levels, and the loss of money.
#Ignite follows a detailed process to make sure every consideration is made during a project’s lifespan. This process can be seen in the image below, displaying each step of the consultation and design procedure.
This package is completely unique to SOD Home Group and removes a significant amount of risk and uncertainty from the project. This detailed process gives homeowners a glimpse into what their new home will look like, helps them get to know the team, and provides a detailed plan on how the project will be completed.
Consider #Ignite as a test drive of your future home!
Speak to us today for more information about #Ignite and our completion guarantee. We have worked with homeowners across Los Angeles, delivering incredible homes and 100% satisfaction.