Choosing a Builder

There are many things to consider when choosing a builder for your project. Here is our handy guide to help you find the right builder for you.

Firstly, you should draw up a clear work specification so you know what you want to achieve and can look for a builder who has the right amount of expertise. You should also ensure you have checked relevant building regulations and planning permission before you start. You can do this through the planning portal website here.

There are a number of ways you can find a builder, all offering different levels of protection. You should remember if looking in directories such as the Yellow Pages that none of these builders have been quality checked. If getting a referral from friends or family, you should still conduct all the necessary checks to ensure they are qualified and offer a consistent level of service to all of their customers.

Of course, finding a builder through a trade association such as Master Tradesmen offers you the highest level of protection as all our builders have already been through our thorough checking process and adhere to our strict membership criteria. Whatever route you go down, remember to always follow our guide below:

GETTING QUOTES

You should contact at least 3 builders when getting quotes. Although this will ensure you are getting a competitive quote, choosing the cheapest is not always the best choice.  Choosing a sub-standard builder may end up costing you more in the long run, even if they offered the cheapest quotation, when you factor in fixing any problems or mistakes that arise from cutting corners. It’s always advisable to ask for a breakdown of costs.

Try and get fixed quotes not estimations. Estimations are fine when you are in the initial stages of planning your project or when you first contact a builder, but make sure you have a fixed quotation before you sign a contract and the work begins. Estimations are always subject to change. Make sure your fixed quotation covers all of the work outlined in the work specification and specific details such as materials, site clearance and time scales are included.

REFERENCES

You should contact at least 3 builders and ask each for a minimum of three written references. A good builder should also be able to arrange a site visit where you can see recently completed work and speak with the properties owners.

CHECKLIST OF QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR BUILDER BEFORE MAKING A FINAL DECISION

  • What kind of work have they completed in the past? Have they completed a similar job for any customers in the local area?
  • How long have they been trading?
  • Are they a member of any trade bodies or associations? If so, ring the organisation and check that they are in fact a member.
  • Do they offer a guarantee on their work? Is this guarantee backed by insurance? For example, if the builder goes out of business you are still protected?
  • Do they have up to date public liability insurance?
  • Can they provide proof of any relevant certificates or qualifications such as GAS Safe & NIC registrations?
  • What is the timescale/deadline of the work? What compensation can you expect if the deadline is not met?
  • Make sure you know exactly what is and what’s not included in your quote.

Read more:

Working with your builder

Money & Contracts

Why use a Master Tradesmen builder?

 

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