How to Choose a Builder

by scott douglas

Whether it's Renovation work, Repairs or a New Build finding a Good Builder is likely to be first on your list.

Bad News travels fast, and we have all heard the Horror Stories of Rogue Traders leaving previous customers with poor quality building work.

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We hear less about the thousands of projects started and finished every week and the happy customers using a Reputable Builder they can trust.

Here in the UK, we are lucky to have so many High-Quality Builders with a solid trading history and prioritise a good working relationship with their customers.

This makes sense, Local Builders with a good reputation will be in demand, and Recommendations from Customers, Review Sites, and their Trade Organisation will flow thick and fast.

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Finding a Good Builder

Where do you start?

If you can, start by asking around.

Family, Friends, and Neighbours are likely to know Local Builder's who have completed work for them in the past.

If you are new to the local area, this may not be possible, but there are a few other things you can do.

First, ensure you give yourself time and manage your expectations.

A Good Builder is likely to be Busy and may not be able to visit you for a few days to discuss the work.

Try not to get frustrated, and remember this is usually a good sign.

Good Builders will agree to a scheduled visit with you.

This is an excellent first test of some essential factors, including the Builders Organisation, Reliability and Customer Service.

Some other things when Searching for the Right Builder include;

  • Check the Builder on Review Sites
  • Check the Builder on Social Media
  • Google the Builder
  • Use Reputable Directories
  • Check Trade Associations
  • Ask other Trades
  • Ask your Local Authority
  • Check with the Federation of Master Builders

Remember that if the Builder is not on Social Media or Review Sites, this does not always mean they are not a Reputable Builder.

Once you have met with your Builder, you can carry out a few more checks before giving the go-ahead for any work.

Check your Local Builders are Reliable?

It's a good idea to get quotes from at least three builders.

Try and resist the temptation of going straight for the cheapest quote without running some further checks on the Building Contractor.

You probably have an opinion of the Builders you have met by how they communicated with you at your appointment.

Here are a few more tips on how to choose a builder;

  • Timekeeping - Did they arrive on time
  • Communication - Did they keep you updated when Estimating
  • Are Reference Checks available
  • Can you speak to Previous Clients
  • Are the Builder's Quotes Clear to Understand
  • Do they have Public Liability Insurance
  • Are they Clear on Waste Disposal
  • Do they understand Building Regulations
  • Are they a member of a Trade Organisation
  • Are they a member of the Federation of Master Builders

You are likely to make your mind up when meeting different builders quickly.

These tips will help you validate your decision.

We would not suggest that every Builder meet all the above criteria, but select which is most important to you from the tips above.

This is a crucial stage in developing a good relationship when you choose a builder.

The Builder must understand your expectations, and the agreed price takes this into account.

Some key points to check with your Builder include;

Also, check if the Builder is VAT registered and whether your Payment Schedule includes VAT.

Now you have selected your Builder; It is recommended to enter into a written contract with your Builders.

Most Builders will have a Standard Contract to provide to clients.

This is likely to include;

  • Summary of Work
  • Reference to any Planning Permission, Drawings, Schedules
  • Health and Safety Requirements
  • Start Date
  • Completion Estimate
  • Payment Schedule
  • Warranties
  • Guarantees
  • Public Liability Insurance Details
  • Employers liability insurance Details

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We hope Our How to choose a builder Guide is helpful and has given you some valuable tips.

In our opinion, we have a wealth of Master Builders here in the UK, and putting a little time aside when selecting your Builders will be worthwhile and bring your Vision to Life.

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