Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Opinion – Maria Inês Dolci: Before starting a construction or renovation, consult a therapist


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Are you thinking about renovating your house or apartment, or building a property from scratch? The first observation is: prepare your pocket. The cost of civil construction increased 18.04% from January to November this year. The accumulated in the 12 months in November was 20.33%. If you are a tense or anxious person, a word of advice: consult a therapist before starting this endeavor.

Prices, by the way, are far from the only issue. Hiring the service is a big challenge. Ask for references, referrals from family and friends, and register everything in the contract. And when I say everything, it is everything. Otherwise, you will be surprised, for example, to find that the placement of doors and windows was not planned.

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Those who hire a contractor to manage the work also outsource activities such as the purchase of construction materials and personnel administration. Obviously, the cost increases, but some of the annoyance is outsourced, which can be very worthwhile.

Even if you hire a company or self-employed professional, make a schedule of the work, in order to monitor whether it is on schedule or not. Also create and update a file with all expenses for purchasing materials, paying professionals and others, to frequently check your financial availability. And everything must be signed in a contract, even if a liberal professional has been chosen to carry out the work.

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A work takes several months. And the money must be available immediately, as materials such as cement, mortar, bricks, tiles, sand, stone, iron, electrical (wires, cables, sockets, switches) and hydraulic (tubes, drains, pipes) are requested . And, of course, professionals pay weekly, usually on Fridays.

Every payment must have an invoice or receipt. It is essential to make a spreadsheet and enter all expenses, without exception. Otherwise, there may be a shortage of money at a critical period in the work.

Verbal promises are worthless. What is not in a document, signed by the parties, will simply not exist. The ideal would be to hire a company that manages everything, from the project to the workforce.

Another important issue: no matter how carefully the expenses are projected, there will always be some unpredictable expense. Therefore, it is not enough to have the total value estimated by the company or contractor.

There are also a number of legal requirements, which vary by municipality. And they must be obeyed, so that the renovation or construction can be registered in a notary’s office. Other legal aspects must also be considered, such as working hours and silence, as well as the safety of the work and stored materials.

If you prefer to buy an apartment on the floor plan, remember that there are risk factors to consider, such as significant delays in handing over the keys. Or even the interruption of the work due to the construction company’s financial difficulties. Even the weather can interfere with deadlines, if, for example, it rains heavily for long periods.

Today, there is great demand for apartments and new houses. Therefore, protect yourself: be well informed about the financial health of the construction company. And make detailed cost projections, if you buy at the plant, to make sure you’re still in a position to pay the bills to come, as the construction period may be longer.

So, if you’re thinking about building, buying ready-made property or on-plan, do a lot of research, make sure you have the money for expenses or the conditions to obtain a loan (especially family income adequate to the total financed). And be patient, a lot of patience.

Merry Christmas!


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