HOW TO CHOOSE A REPUTABLE BUILDER
Deciding on a suitable builder for your project doesn’t have to be a challenge. Take advice from an accredited body and search carefully for a recommended contractor who fits your budget and style. You should hire someone you can trust and rely on to communicate effectively.
Do your homework
Search for a builder who has experience in the project you want to carry out – each firm will specialise in different areas. If you are working with an interior designer or architect they may make suggestions, but going through the main building trade organisations will ensure the companies you approach have been vetted.
Ask at least three builders for a quote and check how long the price is guaranteed for. Quotes will give you a better understanding of how a company arrives at the final cost. Don’t just go for the lowest option. If a builder provides a lower estimate, ask how they will achieve a high standard without cutting corners. Find out about their experience and qualification – ask for references and check them.
Some firms are highly innovative and can provide a better service for less. Speaking with previous clients will provide evidence of their ability and allow you to gauge the quality of workmanship.
Before you begin
Create a checklist of key questions and enquire about whether the builder uses sub-contractors or works with in-house staff. Asking a firm about its team allows you to gain an idea of how they work. Draw up a contract and agree stages of payment. You can buy a contract template and guidelines from The Joint Contracts Tribunal online, which includes all the clauses, details and terms that a typical home renovation project requires.
Be clear about what you are paying for and when, Hold back a final payment until the project is completed and do not agree to pay anything upfront. Make sure your contract includes every task, including the supply of materials, safe removal and disposal of waste, and snagging. Until the contract is signed, your builder should not start work.