How to choose a builder

How to choose a builder

Finding the right builder for your project will take a bit of research, but is well worth your time – you could save yourself a lot of hassle, time and money but putting in the effort before you start.

Here are our tips for finding the right tradespeople to be involved on your project:

Get a referral

Ask family or friends who may have recently had some work done. Ask the builder how long they have been trading and what experience they have in the work you need completing.

Check them out

There have been a substantial number of cases of bogus builders fraudulently claiming membership of trade associations, so call and make sure they are a bona fide member.

Look for references

Check references and visit the builders. Contact the people who provided the references and find out how happy they were with the quality of the workmanship and the builder’s conduct.

Request full quotations

Get full details in writing of what is covered and what is not. This should include site maintenance, clearance, material supplies etc. Ask for confirmation as to whether planning permission is required and if they will need to apply for Building Regulations approval.

Avoid 'no-VAT' deals

You will not have a valid contract if there is no proof of payment, and is a risk for both the builder and yourself. 

details in writing

he more thorough the better. Your contract should outline what work is to be done, start/completion dates, security, safety, the cost of the work and materials, payment plans, catering and lavatory arrangements, hours of work, cleaning up and disposal of waste materials.

Be straight about money

Agree payment terms clearly in writing with your builder. Payment schedules should be as clear and regular as possible to avoid misunderstandings that then cause delays on the build.

Avoid paying upfront or a cash deposit

This can b a red flag – this shouldn’t be necessary unless you request specialist building materials or the job is likely to take a long time to complete.

Look at guarantees

Are they offering a guarantee on a large scale job? If the project is a new build you will need a guarantee on the property.

Check your builder's insurance

You will not have a valid contract if there is no proof of payment, and is a risk for both the builder and yourself.