Choosing the right builder
Choosing the right builder for your project is a big decision because if you get it wrong it can prove costly.
Here are some things to consider when choosing your builder:
- How long has the builder been in business?
You can check with HMRC (it is a sole trader), or Customs and Excise (if VAT registered); or look them up at Companies House. If they are not formally registered for tax purposes this may ring alarm bells.
- Do they have a permanent business address?
Verify this address independently once you have it from them – if it isn’t easy to trace or identify, then treat them with caution.
- Have you got recent testimonials?
They should be able to easily provide these, and you should contact the clients directly and ask to see the work so you can judge for yourself.
- What is the quotation like?
A detailed quotation with each item listed and analyzed means that careful consideration of costs, materials, and timelines has gone into it.
- Have you done your research?
Find out about projects like your own and what sort of costs you should typically expect to pay, and how long you would expect a similar project to take. Research the type of materials involved. If you know what you’re talking about, this will help when discussing or negotiating your project with a builder.
- What cover will you get?
Find out what warranties and insurance will cover your builder’s work, including any collateral damage to your property during the work. You’ll want written confirmation of these before any work commences.
- Get it in writing
DO NOT proceed with the work until you have a fixed cost for it, in writing.