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Top 10 Builder Consumer Tips

When you’re thinking of getting building work done on your home, there are some obvious tips such as getting 3 like for like quotes but there are many other tips below to help you choose the right builder for your project;
  • Ask for recommendations locally
  • If you don’t already know a reliable builder you should ask friends, family or work colleagues if they can recommend someone to you. If possible try to see the standard of work completed by the building firm first hand so you can judge how professional they are.
  • Ask to see their insurance certificate
  • Unfortunately there are unscrupulous builders out there who will say they’re insured when they’re not. An easy way to check this is to ask to see their insurance certificate, if they can’t provide this then you shouldn’t employ them to work on your home.
  • Agree everything in writing
  • It may sound obvious to agree everything in writing but it’s amazing how many building projects are not written down in advance. As well as having the initial plans agreed on paper you should also ensure any changes to these are documented.
  • Don’t pay money up front
  • It’s wise to agree a staggered payment schedule before your building work starts and beware of any company who asks for large sums of money up front as you may well never see them again.
  • Agree start and finish times for each working day
  • If you have neighbours who are in close proximity to the building work it’s only courteous to bear them in mind. Agree a sensible start and finish time with your builders each day and inform your neighbours of these in order to avoid any possible conflicts or ill feeling.
  • Make sure you’re certain about your plans
  • Changing your mind about your building plans during the project can have serious time and financial implications and could affect the building company’s work schedule too, so it’s best to make sure you’re 100% certain before giving the go ahead.
  • Providing toilet facilities
  • If you don’t want the builders to use the toilet facilities in your home, it’s best that you let them know about this in advance so they can arrange for portable toilet facilities to be used on the site.
  • Consider moving out while work is going on
  • Depending on the scale of the building project you’re undertaking it might be worth considering moving out, especially if you have pets or young children at home.
  • Appoint one person to liaise with the builders
  • Having one point of contact for the builders whether it’s you, your partner or someone else you’ve appointed to be the project manager will help things run smoothly. If the builders get a series of conflicting instructions from different people, their job will soon become impossible.
  • Make sure all permissions are in place before work starts
  • This may seem like an obvious tip but you’d be amazed at how many people fail to follow this advice. Starting your building work without permission can lead to a whole host of problems further down the line and you may be forced to put everything back to how it was before if planning permission is refused.