How to choose a builder
Are you looking to renovate your home or business in the near future and don’t know where to start? Here’s a few helpful tips to help you choose the right builder for you.
Looking for inspiration for your bathroom and home renovation? Take a look through our past project case studies.
Looking to hire RedBox for your next project? Check out our reviews on Houzz
- Seek recommendations
As you would when hiring any tradesman, the first step you should take when looking for a builder is to ask for recommendations.You can also lookat Which? Trusted Traders https://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/for reviews and verified tradesmen.if you’ve already hired an architect or designer for the project – they should be able to recommend a builder they have worked with previously also.
- Check their credentials
Once you have a prospective builder set up, don’t forget to do your due diligence before signing any agreements.You can verify they’re a legitimate registered company by visiting the Companies House website at www.companieshouse.gov.uk and of course websites such as Which? Trusted Trader are a useful resource as above.
Ask the builder for information on previous projects, where possible images or a site visit, and access to testimonials or where possible a chance to speak to a previous customer that has a completed job – ideally more than 12 months ago – as it can take a year for the house to settle and any cracks to show.
Check also they have they have appropriate insurance to protect against liabilities incase anything goes wrong.
This should include:
- Employers Liability
- Public/Products Liability
- Excess Public Liability
- Contractors All Risk Liability
Your contract should include a payment structure that both yourself and your builder have agreed.
Good practice is usually to offer up to a maximum of 10% up front, followed by payments based on agreed goals reached. As the stages progress the payments progress.
I.e first payment after the initial groundwork is completed, walls being constructed and so forth.
Look out for a builder who expects you to make a substantial payment upfront. This could be a sign they do not have the cash flow to start the project with their suppliers – or they are planning to take your money and run.
Ensure you get everything in writing, mutually signed and copied and keep everything in a safe place –you may want to consider hiring a project manager to help liaise with the builders and keep track of the progress.
4. Check if they employ their workers or subcontract
If you’re using a small to medium sized business they should have 3 or 4 projects on the go at any one time, with at least 2 or 3 full time workers at each site (on average about 10 employees). If they have less than this, they could rely on heavily on subcontractors which could put the quality at risk.
However, if they are using subcontractors it’s not always a bad thing, you just need to ensure they have they have all the relevant documents and plans before they begin, and make sure you find out who is responsible should any work be substandard. Also check that the builder will be overseeing the project you have hired them for – if not consider an alternative company or insist on a meeting with the actual project manager to ensure regular communication and checks are being done.
5. Plan ahead and help things go smoothly.
What should your builder need from you? Good quality drawings and diagrams of the project you want completing, make sure the architect is giving the appropriate detail, specifications and requirements, the more details you provide and fine tune – the more accurate a job the builder can complete.
Remember, employing a builder can be stressful – but if you do you research and planning this should make the entire process smoother, and quicker.
If you are planning to do work in your home planning is key, we hope these tips and ideas for home renovation and home improvements. Feel free to drop us an email or give us a call to start discussing your project for a free quotation.
For inspiration see some of our website and Instagram photos as these can really help with inspirational ideas. If you would like more ideas or advice, then, by all means, drop us an email with a list of what you’d like to achieve, and we’ll advise you as to how to make your budget stretch as far as possible.