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HANDY MAC: Q and A: Mark is looking to build an extension

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Q: We are considering building an extension to our home and I would like your advice on how to proceed.

A: This question comes up at least once a year but I think it is worth continuing to answer it – especially with the state the industry is in at the moment. The following is from the Master Builders Association Guidelines; I will continue with the answer next week.

Guidelines to successful building

Follow these guidelines to maintain a good relationship with your contractor: 

Planning

Before calling in a contractor for a quotation, draw up a specific, detailed plan of what you want done and how much you can afford. For substantial work, obtain a detailed cost estimate and adjust requirements to suit your budget. Ask a qualified person to draw plans, determine specifications and submit them to the local authority for approval.

Choosing a reliable building contractor

Ensure your contractor is registered with the necessary legal or statutory bodies such as workman’s compensation insurance, Bargaining Council for the Building Industry and the receiver of revenue. Obtain references from all contractors and be aware they are not obliged to be members of the MBA. Current legislation stipulates that if you are building a new house your contractor must be registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council.

Registration with the NHBRC for alterations, additions or renovations is not required. Registration takes about five weeks, so don’t be caught out by starting to build then discovering the bank wants a certificate of registration before advancing the first payment.

Be extremely wary of engaging persons claiming to be project managers, who say they can save you thousands. Ensure your expert possesses the correct qualification.

If you have a question for Don, send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 0824463859. 

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