Finding the Right Builder
There are many horror stories regarding rogue builders, and it can be extremely difficult to know who you should trust. However, there are also some very good companies that will provide a high level of quality and service. When you?re looking for a builder for your project, it?s important that you research your choice thoroughly. The more work you put in at the beginning, the less likely it is to end up costing you later.
Research the Market
There are plenty of local building companies, but you need to find one that can be trusted to get on with the work and not take any shortcuts. Recommendations from family and friends are the best option if possible. They will have first-hand experience of the company and you can easily check the quality of the work. You should look for builders who have carried out similar projects, whether that?s building a whole extension or installing a glass balcony railing. This way you know that they have the capabilities to carry out the work and expertise in the right area. You can ask other tradespeople you?re working with, such as plumbers, for their recommendations. The Federation of Master Builders has a search function on their website and they check all their members first. There is also the TrustMark scheme, which is endorsed by the government and vets everyone who joins.
Once you?ve drawn up a shortlist of builders, you should get written quotes from a minimum of three. In order to get a more accurate idea of the costs involved, you need to be clear about exactly what type of work you require. This will help the builder understand the job and put together a more comprehensive quote. Make sure that you include any additional work and materials. Ask for at least three references from each builder and spend time checking these out. You have to ensure that they have the relevant insurance in case of any problems. Agree on a payment schedule, including details of any deposit, but make sure that you don?t have to pay too much upfront.
Have an Agreement
It doesn?t matter what type of work you?re having done, whether it?s a new kitchen or glass balcony railing, you still need to have a written agreement in place. If the builder is trustworthy, they won?t have any arguments about this. An agreement will help both parties, especially if any problems arise during the project. It should include a detailed list of the work that needs completing and the expected start and end dates. There should be penalties included in the agreement that will come into force if the project runs over schedule. It needs to include a breakdown of costs and when payments should be made, along with any retainer. You should aim to meet with your builder at least once a week to check on the progress.
Finding the right builder can make all the difference to how a project is run and completed. Spending that bit of extra time could save you both time and money in the long run