Whether you’re having an extension built on your home or are building an entire new home, you want to ensure you’re picking the right builder for the job. How can you be sure you’ll have someone who’s qualified, hard working and will give you what you need? Here are some top tips to help you find the right builder for the job at hand.
Take A Look Online
Looking online is always going to be the first thing you do when looking for a good builder. It can feel overwhelming, as every local builder will show up with a Google search. How do you know which ones are the best? If you know how to sort through the results, you’ll come away with the best builders.
Try out websites like Rated Builders or Trustmark, to see who’s listed there. To get on sites like these, builders will have to meet a set of requirements. On the Trustmark site for example, the builders will be vetted and checked on several different metrics. This is a good place to start, as you know you’ll be looking at genuine tradespeople.
Make sure you’re also taking a look at online reviews. These are going to be 99% genuine, so you can get a real feel for who the builders are and how they’ve worked with others. It is worth noting that some people are more likely to review if they’ve had a bad experience than a good one, but you should pay attention to what those reviews say as well.
Talk To Family And Friends
You can find out a lot online, but you won’t be able to get the full picture. That’s why it’s worth asking around, to see what’s available to you and what experiences others have had with these builders. They can often give a good impression online, but in fact aren’t as great as they appear in person.
Obviously, the opposite can be true too. You may not consider a builder until someone recommends them to you. Ask about how long they take to complete jobs, the prices they charged, and how reliable they are. The more info you have about them, the better.
Check Out Trading Associations
By now you’ll have a shortlist of builders that you want to check out. Take that list and check it against trading associations. You want to see who’s with good trading bodies, and how many. It’s not required for builders to join trade associations, but it’s something that many reliable builders do. With so many ‘cowboy builders’ out there, they want to set themselves apart and show that they’re the best people for the job.
If the builders you’re considering are with a governing body, that’s good news for you. That offers you extra protection when you’re using them to create your project, so you can hire them in confidence.
Be Wary Of Fraudulent Trade Associations
On the same topic though, be aware that there are some builders that claim they’re with a trade association when they aren’t. Typically, they’ll add the logo or seal that the association provides onto their website, without actually being a part of them. It’s a way of making customers feel confident in hiring them, when they shouldn’t.
You don’t need to worry too much about this, though. You can easily check if someone is actually with an association by searching for them on the relevant website. If they aren’t there, then you know that the claim is false.
Now you have a shortlist of all the builders that are trustworthy and come recommended. You’re ready to start getting quotes from all of them. They should all agree to come to your home, or the site that will be built on, to take a look and offer a quote.
Any quote they give should be in writing, and offer all details of what they will and won’t include. Good builders will cover site maintenance, cleaning, material supplies and so on. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about the work, too. For example, it’s a good idea to ask about planning permission, and whether they will need to apply for Building Regulations approval.
Check All The Details
Before you go ahead and pick a builder for the job, make sure you have all the details. You should have the quote, which will tell you exactly what you’ll be paying for. Also, check whether they will offer a guarantee on the work they do. This is something you have to have if the project is a new build. Check they’re insured too, as this is something you want to know before they get started.
Have as much as you can down in writing. For example, when will the work start, and when do they predict it to end? What arrangements will be made for the builders when they’re there, such as catering and other facilities? When you know as much as you can, you can agree on a builder to start work.
There is a lot to think about when you’re choosing a builder to work on your home. However, it’s important that you have all the facts before you get started. Do your homework, and you’ll be able to hire a builder that you’re confident in.