Tips when hiring a builder
When choosing a builder or tradesperson to do work in your home it is essential to do your homework to avoid things going wrong here are a few tips to help from a builder with over 20 years experience.
- WHERE TO BEGIN Do some research into exactly what you want to achieve, the finished look of your project (sites such as Pinterest, Instagram & facebook groups are excellent for this as is speaking with friends & family who may have had similar works done), is it to make more room for your growing family? To add a dream kitchen? or bathroom? Try and have pictures printed off or available to send over to the builder the more information you can provide at the quote visit the easier the whole process will be.
- BUDGET this is the area that a lot of people fall down with, it’s the dreaded question of how much do you want to spend?? Nobody likes answering this question the same as I don’t like asking it, it doesn’t have to be an exact figure for example :- if you want a new kitchen there is no point in me supplying a quote for a full bells & whistles kitchen at say £15,000-£20,000 when you only want to spend £8,000-£10,000 i would much rather you said ‘Andy we only have £8-10k to spend on this’ now that doesn’t automatically mean my price is going to come in at £9,995.00 I’d much rather work with you to get something you’re happy with at a price that’s in your ‘acceptable budget’.
- QUOTES yes its advisable to get more than one quote (i would advise between 3-5) on your project but make sure you’re asking for the same thing of each builder/trade so that the quotes are comparable, again this comes back to doing your research into what you want to achieve make sure each quote covers the same thing’s for example make sure that all quotes include all labour (covering different trades ie:- plumbing, gas, electrics,plastering etc etc). Does the quote include Scaffolding? Machine Hire? Temporary works? Vat?
- MATERIALS This is a big one that a lot of people get wrong and can get stung with at the end of the job, are you as the customer supplying the materials? or are you expecting the builder/trades to get the materials? obviously there are pro’s & cons of either option some of the biggest problems I’ve seen when a customer supplies their own materials is are you getting the correct quantity or quality (the last thing you want is for a builder to run out of materials or not be able to fit something because of inferior quality as this will lead to unnecessary standing charges being charged) also who is responsible if any parts or materials fail after installation if a builder supply’s materials they are using the best quality material possible and would rectify any issues after installation.
- WASTE DISPOSAL Who is responsible for waste removal it is inevitable that having any work done on your property will create waste is there a skip included in the quote? or has an allowance been made for waste disposal? or are you happy arranging to get rid of your own waste?.
- CONTRACT OF WORKS once you have chosen a builder or tradesperson make sure you get a written contract of works from them that outlines payment schedules, start/finish dates, access into the property, use of facilities etc
- RESEARCH Probably the biggest tip is do your research into the builder/trades, your home is your biggest asset make sure you do everything you can to minimise the risks associated with doing any building work, some key points to consider.
- Online visibility check out any reviews feedback across google, facebook, recommendation sites such as mybuilder, rated people etc etc, if they’re a limited company check out companies house website to make sure registered addresses etc all tie up.
- Contact details do they have a website to showcase their work, links to social media, landline phone, registered address
Having somebody in to do work on your property can be daunting but don’t rush into anything, ask questions try and enjoy the process