Sarah Beeny’s Price the Job is a handy little guide for the new/fairly new property investor or developer (or even just a private homeowner) who wants to understand how to undertake small development work, such as replacing a kitchen or bathroom, and assumes the reader has little or no knowledge of the building game. Dealing with builders and tradesmen can often be very frustrating if you don’t talk their language — this book attempts to right that and give you a sense of confidence when working with the trades. Topics covered include:
- Which types of building work do tradespeople cover?
- How are you charged for their time?
- What exactly involved in your building job?
- How can you estimate the cost for this?
It’s a likable, if rather simplistic, attempt at helping you to take the fear out of minor building works/refurbishment. Most budding investors that I talk to have simply no idea how frustrating managing a build can be (even if you employ a main contractor or project manager at extra cost, you quite often end up having to manage them too!). Most of the time, new property developers only find this out once they’ve committed themselves to a project that is probably a bit bigger than they started with.
Price the Job will help you find and retain good tradesmen and contractors, which is going to be critical to your success in turning a profit. Ask yourself how many times you’ve watched a super-cocky, wet-behind-the-ears developer on a TV property show despair as his ‘simple job’ descends into a full-blown building nightmare. Beeny’s book aims to arm you with enough knowledge to engage the right people at the right price on your project.
(For a more in-depth guide to housebuilding and construction, again with no assumed prior knowledge, I strongly recommend the Housebuilder’s Bible which easily deserves an entry in the Top Books category.)