Claire B

Training recommendations to become a builder.

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1 hour ago, SimonD said:

I'm wondering from this whether he actually wants to be a builder - as in hands-on doing the creation and improvement work - or more as a developer - managing and organising others to do the work to create and improve buildings. These are very different things and require rather different skillsets.

Perhaps he will go down the developer route, it's early days, he'll look at options and choose what suits his interests and skill set the most. 

Thanks for taking the time to reply, all useful information. I'll be recommending he uses this site too, he's away for the weekend which is the only reason he's not already doing so. 

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10 minutes ago, Claire B said:

I can fund it... which is why I want to be involved at first. 


ok so I admire your support but how much can you afford to lose ..?? It may sound harsh, but what happens when he gets bored at 6 months in and you’ve not got anything to sell as it’s not finished ..??
 

I’m not sure where you are in the UK, but there are lots of properties that go through auction that with some medium level remediation can become nice sellable or rentable properties in 3-4 months. Why not start with one of these ..??

 

My big concern is that he will lose faith, have some setbacks and realise it’s not for him, but with a development taking 9-12 months he will be using BoMAD for that time and tbh that’s not exactly an incentive to finish anything so his motivation and focus needs to be on succeeding. Taking on a small renovation, seeing it through from start to finish and learning as he goes will give him confidence, skills and probably start to build a list of subbies he will (and won’t ..!) want to use again.
 

Your risk is also significantly lower, and unless he does something catastrophic you will always have a saleable asset that you can offload for not a massive loss if it all goes wrong. 
 

You see many like this on Homes under the Hammer and other types of programme but the key here is to learn with something by which he can get skills in a reasonably controlled environment and build up from there.
 

Jumping straight into a full house build with no skills or experience, and no real risk to himself as it’s your money, is not something I would be doing. He could end up very good at this but he needs the confidence from successes - however small - before he really knows if it’s for him.  

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Put in for 2/3 weeks sick leave/holidays from his current place of work.

Find a building site close to his home and see if he can get a start doing anything.

 Labourer, driving a dumper, helping brickies wherever it is won't really matter. Its just to get a flavour of what working on a building site involves. You can earn a very decent wage but you will have to do a lot of hard, dirty physical work to get it. You can't do any apprenticeship at the moment cause they are closed so it's the only way to get some experience. 

When the few weeks is up he should know if it's for him or not. Then you can start looking at doing a course in the tech to learn to become a joiner, brickie, plumber etc.

 But remember the wages he will get while still learning won't be a lot. Your talking 5-8 years further down the line before he will have enough skill and knowledge built up to get a job finished quickly and of a high enough standard to start making money.

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1 hour ago, PeterW said:

there are lots of properties that go through auction that with some medium level remediation can become nice sellable or rentable properties in 3-4 months. Why not start with one of these ..??

Good idea! We'll take a look and see whats on offer. It could be another year until I have good planning permission on my land so he could practice on smaller projects and build up skills. 

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All joking apart about the 'he can help on my site'.

Why not make that a reality, there must be half a dozen people on here who are building near you and can use a pair of hands.

Makes the first qualification easy, the site safety certificate.

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2 hours ago, Declan52 said:

Put in for 2/3 weeks sick leave/holidays from his current place of work.

Yes he has a lot of holiday to use up this year, just finding the best way to use that time. On site experience vs short courses in college. He's found a 3 day course at The self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon he's keen to go to. 

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25 minutes ago, Claire B said:

He's found a 3 day course at The self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon he's keen to go to. 

Is it properly accredited and nationally recognised. If not, best avoided.

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25 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Is it properly accredited and nationally recognised. If not, best avoided.

It just goes through the whole process of building so he can get an idea of the process and see which area interests him more than others perhaps. Just for interest not to get any qualification. 

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8 minutes ago, Claire B said:

Just for interest not to get any qualification. 

Many of these type of things are companies that are selling.

I once went for a position as a trainer (IT).  Had to do a full scheme of work and deliver one lesson from it. At the debrief was told that I had not reached their expectations, then they tried to sell me training.

 

He could sign up here and go to all the many topics that are discussed, and as most of us are not builders, he will get a different perspective on it.

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1 hour ago, Claire B said:

It just goes through the whole process of building so he can get an idea of the process and see which area interests him more than others perhaps. Just for interest not to get any qualification. 

 

2 hours ago, SteamyTea said:

Is it properly accredited and nationally recognised. If not, best avoided.

It's a 3 day course giving participants an overview of the self-build process. Starting with funding & finance, finding landing, design, building & construction methods, planning permission, building regs, blah blah. Day 3 is 'eco' s tuff and it's £395.

 

TBH, I don't think this will cover the areas in any such detail to give him an opportunity to find out what he's interested in. It'll only really touch the surface of what you need to know with a self-build too.

 

Personally I'd say the best suggestions so far are for him to find builders and/or trades and then shadow them for a while, or go out and buy a small project low risk project that can be used to gain some experience and learn what it's all about.

 

The other more far out suggestion would be for him to quit his job in the city and get a job as an estate agent for a while. Laugh or scoff, but that'll give him access to the market, get to know trades, and find potential properties and be able to sell them. I know someone who did this and made a mint as a property developer after learning the market.

 

 

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7 hours ago, PeterW said:

Property development isn’t all Sarah Beeny

😍😍😍😍😍😍

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8 hours ago, ToughButterCup said:

 

This is going to sound brutal: the intention is the opposite but at this remove, it's impossible to judge. I do hope what I write isn't interpreted as such. And your post is obviously written with kindness and concern.

 

He starts by making his own mind up. And researching for himself: he's over 20 ... The research process will teach him a huge amount. This sector is about as dysfunctional as it's possible to get. The image on old maps with 'Here be Dragons ' on them could not be more apt. @SteamyTea's advice above is sound. If he has a degree consider a Degree Apprenticeship.

 

He will have to start by showing willing and real keenenss to muck in, do what he says he will do, turn up regularly, be on time, and be prepared to take all the nonsense that customers and explotative employers throw at him. He will have to work in teams where it common to have lazy non-committed colleagues, watch sharp practice in action and keep schtumm. Have smoothe edges roughened.

 

If he has an appetite for extremes, get a start with a scaffolding team.

As TBC says, the most important point is a willingness to graft.  At 7.30 in the morning in an open field come January....

 

Don't know about turning in as a scaffolder mind - I have done enough scaffold adaptations in the last few months to know it is not fun!

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16 minutes ago, Faz said:

Don't know about turning in as a scaffolder mind - I have done enough scaffold adaptations in the last few months to know it is not fun!

 

Especially when it's -3 in January! Not sure there's anything worse than a day handling frozen steel.

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42 minutes ago, SimonD said:

It's a 3 day course giving participants an overview of the self-build process. Starting with funding & finance, finding landing, design, building & construction methods, planning permission, building regs, blah blah. Day 3 is 'eco' s tuff and it's £395.

 

I would suggest that he / you would be better off saving that £400, sounds a bit like money for old rope to be honest. He'll probably learn as much watching some youtube videos, browsing this site or reading the home builder's bible.

 

There is good advice above. Few self builders ever break even, never mind make a profit as the houses we build are either above developer spec or we buy sites that developers would not touch as there is not enough profit - e.g. an old property to demolish for the land. We also make tons of mistakes and learn as we go, which is why many here have done it more than once :)

 

Even builders make relatively thin margins and frequently go bust - can take one bad client or deal to get wiped out. Developers mainly make money by gaining PP for land and throwing up units as cheaply as possible.

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That, lads, is why I suggested it. 

If Mr. ClaireB can hack scaffolding,  he'll '... be a man my son...' quite apart from be able to throw a hefty punch when needed. 

 

As @Bitpipe says,  money, if that's the focus, is in strategy-level choices. And @Claire B has that already. Which has me thinking about RICS..... Worth more than a passing thought Claire. 

So, how about a year getting his rough edges knocked off while applying for an RICS  course?

 

Now there's a thought. 

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If this was my son it would worry me.

There is a decent chance of success for people inspired enough, but many don't know the fast thing about construction.

 

Wants to be a  'builder' but really wants to be a developer.

There is very little common ground, other than on this Hub.

 

labourer/ tradesperson/ builder/ contractor/ main contractor/ developer/ client

 

Somewhere in there is what he wants to be, and you cannot know it all for many years.

 

Then there are the designers and  the money people.

Estimators/buyers/ project managers/ surveyors....lawyers . does he know these people exist in the industry, and does he want their skills too.

 

So where do you start?

 

My suggestion is much as others above. Decide which you want to be, and pitch in at a level below that with a local company.

Ask for experience with a local contractor of some note. They are short of enthusiastic and skilled  staff, and may well be willing to give it a go.

If his city job is numbers then that will be a good start....surprisingly few are natural with figures and quantities.

 

I would not go to college or pay for any courses at all until he has tested the water.

What if he doesn't like the cold and wet? or dealing with stroppy contactors? 

 

Courses?    'Those that can't,  teach'  , is not entirely true, but has truth to it.
A successful developer is not teaching, they are too busy developing.

 

On site is the true classroom, at least for a while.

 

I wish him well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, SimonD said:

The other more far out suggestion would be for him to quit his job in the city and get a job as an estate agent for a while.

This is a great idea! Gets first dibs on the properties. 

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14 minutes ago, saveasteading said:

If his city job is numbers then that will be a good start....surprisingly few are natural with figures and quantities.

Somewhat, he's an insurance broker dealing with claims. He is very good at maths though regardless so the QS side of things shouldn't be a problem. 

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17 minutes ago, saveasteading said:

On site is the true classroom, at least for a while.

 

I wish him well.

Thank you for your input. He's going to spend a few weeks looking into it all before making any decisions. He's away on holiday for a week too which gives him a change of perspective.

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36 minutes ago, ToughButterCup said:

That, lads, is why I suggested it. 

If Mr. ClaireB can hack scaffolding,  he'll '... be a man my son...' quite apart from be able to throw a hefty punch when needed. 

 

As @Bitpipe says,  money, if that's the focus, is in strategy-level choices. And @Claire B has that already. Which has me thinking about RICS..... Worth more than a passing thought Claire. 

So, how about a year getting his rough edges knocked off while applying for an RICS  course?

 

Now there's a thought. 

Got to be honest he's never going to do scaffolding! 

He's excellent at maths so yes perhaps a RICS quantity surveying course if he could do that remotely whilst working a day job too and getting some experience. 
 

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48 minutes ago, Bitpipe said:

 

I would suggest that he / you would be better off saving that £400, sounds a bit like money for old rope to be honest. He'll probably learn as much watching some youtube videos, browsing this site or reading the home builder's bible.

 

There is good advice above. Few self builders ever break even, never mind make a profit as the houses we build are either above developer spec or we buy sites that developers would not touch as there is not enough profit - e.g. an old property to demolish for the land. We also make tons of mistakes and learn as we go, which is why many here have done it more than once :)

 

Even builders make relatively thin margins and frequently go bust - can take one bad client or deal to get wiped out. Developers mainly make money by gaining PP for land and throwing up units as cheaply as possible.

Thanks. I've lost money on my own self build but I built it to live in not to profit from so everything was high spec. It sounds like developers make more money than builders then? The builder that built my home turned up  in a new Range Rover as soon as the project was signed off! 

my sons girlfriend works for a company that finds land for developers so that could come in handy. I don't like the idea of throwing up cheap units for personal profit and would like to gently steer him towards the emerging eco market.

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3 minutes ago, Claire B said:

Got to be honest he's never going to do scaffolding! 

He's excellent at maths so yes perhaps a RICS quantity surveying course if he could do that remotely whilst working a day job too and getting some experience. 
 

If he wants to be a developer a couple of weeks as a labourer will do him no addition at all and if he went in with any trade for a couple of weeks a labourer is all he would be. 

If he was taking the long haul approach which it doesn't look like he is, working as a QS  would be the most advantageous giving him a true handle in the costs and contracts along with helping him build good realtionships with a group of tested subcontractors.

 

Otherwise if he wants to be a "developer" in the short term just go and buy a fixer upper and learn through the chaos

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3 hours ago, SimonD said:

other more far out suggestion

How about getting a job with Building Control.  Would learn all the ins and outs, then it would become easy to build/convert your own places.

or the Planning Office, if he really wants to be hated.

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16 hours ago, Claire B said:

Good idea! We'll take a look and see whats on offer. It could be another year until I have good planning permission on my land so he could practice on smaller projects and build up skills. 

 

If you start him at home, make it something like a shed or garage or other small project.

 

F

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