Inspiration and advice for your building project
Many self-builders – perhaps even a majority, and especially those on a low budget – choose to build using subcontractors.
In some ways this is like learning to swim in the deep end: choosing to build without the backup of a builder and taking on a project that in most cases is way outside their normal life experience. Most are successful. Most experience a very steep learning curve that involves mistakes, delays and misunderstandings on site, which the repeat self-builder will make certain never happen again.
Learning the sequence of events on a building site is invaluable. Learning what each trade does and where their responsibilities begin and end is vital. And learning that the critical path in building can so easily be thrown off course – and how to get it back on track again – is essential.
Listing the tasks of each trade is one thing. But all but a very few overlap to some degree and it’s important to understand the grey areas between, which can be the responsibility of a builder but which, in their absence, often falls to the self-builder.
They’re on site alone in the first instance, but:
This is the first of the major trades. On a standard house there would be about two weeks’ work to oversite. They may then go away until the scaffolding is down before coming back to do the drains but, equally, on some sites, they may choose to stay and do these as work progresses. This work should take between one and two weeks. They are usually, but not necessarily, responsible for associated works such as fencing, landscaping and driveways, which are normally done during the last two weeks of the project.
A ganger, or site foreman, costs approx. £100 per day, a semiskilled labourer £90 and a general labourer £80. In the Southeast, these rates may be up to 50% higher.