There are potential risks, however small, associated with every project, but it is worth considering them in order to be as informed as possible from the start. Building projects are not like buying a tin of baked beans from a factory; the reality can be much more unpredictable and may need to be adjusted once the existing situation 'on the ground' is fully uncovered by the builder. Typical risks to consider might include (not exhaustive):
- Risk of Planning refusal
- Risk of beginning work on site without a proper Planning Permission or a Building Notice in place
- Additional Planning conditions or constraints (such as ecological surveys)
- Post-planning changes that depart from the formally 'Approved Drawings'
- Additional cost of appointing Party Wall Surveyors in the event of a neighbour's dispute
- Starting work on site quickly without leaving enough time to review and co-ordinate 'buildability' issues.
- Below ground drainage routes and condition once fully uncovered on site
- Drainage / Build over Sewer Agreement permissions with Statutory Authorities
- Condition of existing structures (needing additional intervention, structural support, repairs/rebuilding)
- Provisional items not able to be fully priced by the builder (e.g. electrics and plumbing)
- Items not included in the Builders price (like cost of kitchen or bathroom fittings, floor or wall tiling)
- Consequential additional work or refurbishment in other areas not originally included in main works.
(e.g. electrical rewiring, new boiler, refurbishment 'scope creep', additional garden landscaping)
- Late client led changes after construction has commenced (e.g. moving doors or walls already half built)
- Further costs associated with legitimate unforeseeable extras arising from the above.
Sometimes early 'enabling works', trial pits and invasive inspection of the existing structure can investigate the underlying condition in advance of the main construction phase. Examples may include commissioning an initial 'Sewer trace' investigation by the Water Authority, or exposing existing foundations early for the Engineer, before appointing the eventual builder. This reduces risk later in the project, but incurs additional cost in the early stages.
Time, Cost and Quality are discussed separately, but inevitably carry risk associated with how much time and money are available and what standard of finish you want for your project.