Saturday 25 July 2009

The hidden costs of direct labour

Yesterday I was asked for my thoughts on building an extension by direct labour. People think it is a far cheaper route to hiring a builder to do the job and go that route, often not factoring in the hidden costs. A client who chooses the direct labour route is ultimately managing and running a business for the duration of the project, however many never think or see it as that.

There's their time, often away from work associated with the project, including ordering materials, chasing sub contractors etc and the costs of phone calls trips to the builder's merchants to collect materials all which are often never factored into the project costs.

There's an array of insurances, which some are sometimes over looked, until its too late. And of course the client has full responsibility for the health and safety of the site. I wonder how many clients in their role of the employer have a safety statement for the construction site as required by law or whats more are aware that they are responsible for maintaining the health and safety of the site.Some might see these an an extra unnecessary cost, but if an accident occurred on site having the proper insurances and heath and safety procedures and policies could be the difference of having a new home or spending ones days in the jail house.

In the end I didn't give an opinion, just presented some of the information which doesn't always jump to mind for those considering the direct labour route as at the end of the day most people will do what they want anyway.

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