INVEST IN THE APPROPRIATE PRE-DESIGN TESTS AND DESIGN REPORTS. Alterations surprise us with what's actually behind the linings and New Builds surprise us with what's actually in the ground.
In the next blog, I talk about the Contingency and how I watched a client pour most of their contingency into the ground after the soil conditions revealed themselves to be not what we expected to be. But the same is true for Alterations. We simply don't know what lies behind the lining.
In the scare of leaky buildings, a very real and very stressful problem for many New Zealand homeowners, it's important to remember that about those pre-design or pre-purchase tests.
It seems to be completely at odds that we seem to put more effort into investigating the purchase of our next car than we put into the purchase of a section, purchase of a house or carrying out due diligence prior to building. Yet our financial investment in our homes is the greatest financial investment and potentially the biggest financial burden we will every carry.
On so many occasions I have heard clients moan about the soil tests, the builders' inspection, the need to do a measure up for alteration. The reality is that if these tests and investigations reveal something unseen and unexpected, then at the early stages of the design process we are in the best position to deal with them in a cost-effective and creative manner. Even with the most robust testing there still can be that soft patch of ground that was missed in the soil tests or the structural system that wasn't obvious in an existing house, but the risk of that happening is greatly reduced.
Councils are now refusing building consents without soil tests. In fact, soil tests are idea good pre-purchase of section too, especially if your budget is tight. Foundations are, well foundations, and if your budget cannot accommodate a section with poor soil then its best to find one that does rather than get stuck in a tight and stressful financial situation.
One of the keys to creating a successful project is to invest in unknowns as reasonably as possible. And understanding them as early on as possible, so that all decisions work best with the challenges and actual situation, rather than try to work despite of them.
This is also one of the reasons for my Design Advice Consultation. If you know more of the whole picture at the start, it gives you the information that you need to consider what you are doing so that you can make this process work for you, rather than you have to work to make it possible.
To learn more about more about my Design Advice Consultation click HERE