When hiring a builder it's important to find someone you can trust. We've put these tips together to help you find a reliable builder.
Tips to getting the right builder
- Get at least three quotes for the work you want undertaken, using copies of the plans that your designer has drawn up
- Always check credentials to ensure your contractor is what they claim they are. You can usually do this online
- Do not be fooled by cards produced at the door
- If the contractor isn't known to you, get details of their past projects and check out work they say they have done
- Do not always go for the cheapest price and make sure the contractor is VAT registered
- Do not be tempted to pay cash in hand by omitting to pay VAT. Builders who are willing to do this are breaking the law and may be prepared to cut corners on your building work
- Ensure you have a receipt. If you don't get one, any warranty or guarantee for the work may be invalidated
- Do not give an up front deposit or an initial payment to purchase materials. This is usually unnecessary. Most reputable builders have accounts with suppliers and will only begin to incur charges after materials have been delivered
- Invoices are usually issued on a monthly or quarterly basis depending upon the size of contractor or supplier
- Check that the contractor has accident and personal liability insurance. If not, you may stand to be liable for any injuries or damage caused by your contractor
- Take photographs of the property both before and after the work - this will give you a strong case if you have a dispute with your contractor about workmanship or damage etc.
Before work starts
Before work starts on site you will need to agree:
- Hours of work
- Access into and around the property (security,parking,deliveries, storage of materials, areas for workmen to access to be able to carry out the work)
- Toilet facilities
- Water, electric services for equipment and processes
- Removal of refuse and waste storage
- Repair for damage to your land and property and that of neighbouring property
- Stages of payment
Where can I find builders?
The TrustMark Scheme is the only Government endorsed scheme for finding builders who are trustworthy and reliable. TrustMark is a not for profit organisation, licensed by the Government and supported by consumer protection groups.
Checkatrade allows you to browse millions of reviews for local builders and tradesmen.