Now that we have the house and the ideas, we need to start looking for the team to make it all happen. If we were in Sydney we wouldn’t hesitate to work with all of our Block tradies again, particularly our builder Brad. Anyone who watched us with Brad will know how much we loved him and what a fantastic builder he was, he had the work output of three men! But unfortunately the commute from Sydney to Adelaide is a bit far for him to do this job for us! However seeing as all the renos we’ve ever done have been in Sydney (both for the Block and when we lived there) we don’t have any contacts here, so we’re starting from scratch.
So what do you do when you’re looking for the right designers and tradies? With the first Block, before anyone knew what ‘The Block’ was, we just had to go through the Yellow Pages (it was so long ago if was before Google!) and we had a few disasters along the way. Tradies who didn’t show up, and then those who did but did an average job and charged us a fortune. In those days The Block was far more true to life, now they all work extra hard to make their businesses look good, as you would expect.
Finding the right people is so crucial, because not only are they bringing your building dreams to life, they are working in your home, so you want to trust both the work they do and the people they are. I’m sure we’ve all heard horror stories about renovations where people aren’t happy with the job done and it causes huge stress and financial loss, so this step is not to be rushed. Getting referrals of previous jobs done is important and so is getting along with them, so don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and trust your gut.
We are also looking at the option of using a building and design company to manage the whole process. It will cost a bit more than managing it all ourselves, but we would have the peace of mind of being quoted for the whole job up front and then having one contact to oversee everything. And there is a lot to be said for both of those things.
Meanwhile I am busy sketching ideas and floorplans and pouring over magazines, websites and Pinterest for inspiration. It‘s an exciting time, but I feel like I’ve been planning forever so can’t wait to actually get started.
If you’ve done a renovation or new build how did you choose your tradies or building team? Any tips you want to share?