2 tips for those who want to ensure that their house-building projects go smoothly

If you want your upcoming house-building project to go smoothly, you should keep the following two tips in mind.

1. Test for asbestos at the very beginning of the project

One way to ensure the house-building process goes as planned is to send a small amount of the soil on your plot off to a company that provides an asbestos testing service. If the results of the tests show that the soil sample contains asbestos, you should then have the asbestos extracted from the soil on your plot by someone who is qualified to perform this task.

If you don't take these steps before you instruct your contractor to proceed with the building of your house, your project may go badly wrong. The reason for this is as follows; if you wait until after the construction process is underway before you have the soil checked for asbestos contamination, and the tests results confirm the presence of this hazardous material, you will then have to arrange for it to be removed from underneath your partially-constructed house.

This might mean that your contractor may have to pull up the newly-laid foundation so that the asbestos in the ground below it can be removed. If this should happen, not only will the construction process take significantly longer (as the process of pulling up the foundation, having the asbestos removed and then reinstalling the foundation will take quite a while) but your project's labour costs will also increase.

Given this, it would be far more sensible to simply get the soil testing process over and done with at the start of your project, before the construction work begins.

2. Speak to your contractor about site security

At the start of the project, you should have a discussion about site security with your contractor. During this discussion, you should ask them what measures they think should be taken to keep the site safe from thieves and vandals, and how you (or they) should go about putting these measures in place. The reason for this is as follows; if you don't make an effort to protect your site from thieves and vandals, your house-building project may not go as planned.

For example, if vandals get into your site when the house is only partially built, they could graffiti the floors and walls, and use sharp tools to damage the walls plaster. In this situation, you would have to pay a professional cleaner to clean the affected surfaces (as spray-paint graffiti can be very hard to remove with household cleaning products) and ask your contractor to re-plaster the damaged walls. This could lead to your project costing more than you anticipated and could result in it taking longer for your contractor to finish building the house.

As such, it's sensible to talk to your contractor about securing the site, before they start constructing your new house.