Direct Labour Vs Builder

Winnie

Frequent Poster
Messages
219
Hi,

building house but just at the planning stage at the mo. Plans are a lot larger than originally anticipated (originally planned 2750 sq ft - currently 3300 sq ft but trying to reduce a bit) so starting to worry about costs etc.
In some ways would love to just hand over responsibility to a builder & not have to worry about anything but I believe the min for this is €100 sq ft & that is for all standard items (white pvc windows etc - which i definitely want to upgrade to aluwood or something) so starting to get expensive. + have heard lots of nightmare stories about builders etc.
On the other hand Direct Labour cheaper but a lot more hassle & I don't have a clue what Im doing (although Brother just built his that way so I would have some advice available) If I was going to do it this way would def employee someone to oversee to some extent. Arhcitect has said that direct lab approx €80 sq meter at most.

Very long winded way of asking for your experiences & prices!! sorry.
 

racso

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Messages
154
Just built house and moved in at february. Even building you end up doing a lot of running around from my personnel experience i think unless you know what you are at it is pointless. Have heard of a lot of people giving out about roofers not turning up and sparks not arriving going contract means thats not your headache nor is ordering the materials which i am sure u would need to be exact on. We sat down with builder before hand and found out how much extra's would be so we could incorporate them in the price but still ended up about 10 g's over as house had to be raised higher and we decided at last minute to go with underfloor. But the installed everything and did all floor boards and doors, stanley, would defo recommend contract
 

RainyDay

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4,506
Personally, I think you'd be crazy to go direct labour unless you are confident that you can effectively supervise each tradesman. How will you know whether they've done a good job for you? or a safe job?
 

Tubbs

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Messages
84
We are at the stage of planning what type of house to build. Have been asking around in regards to Direct Labour Vs Builder.

Close friends worked out that they (will) have saved about 55k on building a 6 bedroom house (not sure what sq footage it is) with direct labour but they are still not in their house after 2 years of worry frustration and torment!!!

They are constantly on to people to get them to turn up when they say they will. Just because it was raining one day it delayed the roofer by several weeks as he had other jobs on.

We will not be going direct labour - not worth the money saved or the time lost or the hassle and grief to us.
 

usrbin

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Messages
108
Echo previous sentiment re Best of Luck!

Our experience with contractor (still ongoing) has been such that I would definitely go self-build if I was doing it again.

Don't think we got a particularly bad builder but yet I'm deeply involved in build every step of the way and now have personal (and not always good) relationships with most of his suppliers. Builder and engineer disagreeing over everything, necessitating us stepping in to resolve and hopefully prevent price escalation. Knowing nothing about construction, using a contractor was a clear decision for us - but between one crisis and another we've ended up having to learn quite a lot about construction anyway: feel that we might as well have gone self-build. Couldn't have been much slower, either: contractor seems to have plenty of trouble arranging teams to show up and there have been times when site was idle for months (the longest being the wait for hollowcore).

In summary, self-build may be a stress-filled nightmare (I honestly can't comment) but contracting can be too. Consider doing the former, saving the money and rewarding yourself afterwards.

Just my opinion! Hope it goes well whatever you choose.
 

Winnie

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Messages
219
Hey,

thanks for replies...............think that i will just have to get quotes once planning permission comes through (fingers crossed).

Thinking mayb builder to roof level & then take it from there ourselves...best of both worlds. But I guess we just have to research a bit more.

thanks
 

Berlin

Frequent Poster
Messages
158
Hi Winnie,

We have almost finished building by direct labour. So far we have had no serious problems with any of our tradesmen. I think that's because we did a lot of checking out before we started. We got 3 quotes minimum for everything, and as far as possible only used tradesmen who had been recommended to us by satisfied customers. Even if you get a builder in to do the lot there's no guarantee that he won't mess you about just as much as the direct tradesmen could. Just make sure you have someone to inspect regularly - you don't have to have an architect/surveyor - just someone you trust, and who knows what they are doing. Good Luck!
 

NiallA

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Messages
179
USRBIN, it seems that your builder was too busy eslewhere to concentrate on your job. Always a risk with builders (and sub contractors). Very difficult to protect against other than by making sure you owe him enough money to make him want to come back to finsih the job and collect. You would have to have the builder supply the materials to put him really out of pocket.

With self build there is no real tie for the subbie to the job. You can experience a case of guys turning up and doing one days work, then disappearing for a fortnight (but then have effectively stopped you getting anyone else). They do this to ensure they have continuity of employment (can't really blame them but it's really fustrating)
I wouldn't advise going the self build route unless you have some knowledge, otherwise you leave youself open to all manner of crooks and shady dealings.
Get a recommendation for a good builder, sleep easier. the difference in cost is very little if you cost your time in a self build
 
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