Bad builders have spawned a bad name for the construction industry, and, essentially, a whole industry of services to help protect you, your home and your investment.
This is good news for you if you are a homeowner looking to employ a construction team for jobs like doing a loft conversion, house extension or disability adaptation. After all, unless you’re great at DIY, you will need to hire a builder for your new home or home extension project and need to know how to choose someone you can trust.
You will need to be looking to find someone that is reputable and can do the work you hire him to do. You will be paying a lot of money for this project so you want to make sure the builder you hire can be trusted.
We will take a look at some of the important factors you need to consider before you hire your construction team. Take a few notes and ask your builder a few questions and research his background before you hire anyone to do any type of contract work for you.
Credentials and Insurance
These are probably the most important factors to consider. Ask for his license number. Laws vary from area to area but in most areas builders are required to take a license test. Take his number and check with your area license board to make sure his number is legitimate. If he does not have an area license he should not be allowed to give you a bid. Make sure that he is insured and bonded. If not the liability could fall on you. Ask him for his address. This is important because if he does not have a legitimate address this could mean he hasn’t been in the area long.
Ask other people that you know if they have heard of or had any contracts with the person you are considering. Check with business agencies in your area, such as My Builder, Rated People and Which? Trusted Traders, to see if there have been any complaints against him. Be sure to check with material suppliers to see if he pays for all of his materials or if he owes a lot of money to different suppliers. Make sure that all of his sub builders and workers are paid up to date. This is important because if he does work for you and owes a lot of money to other people he could be planning to use your money to pay past bills. This could eventually lead to a lean placed on your home by these suppliers until they receive their money.
Type of contract and what does it include
You need to know if you are working with a fixed price and what your price includes. Most contactors will give you a price and then give you a cost breakdown of what is called allowances. This is much like buying a car. You start with a basic package and the more accessories you add the more money you spend. He should allow you a certain price for things such as plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, floor covering and other building options. Ask him if he requires a down payment. Do not pay no more the 1/3 of the total cost of the project to him. If he asks for more than this I would be aware.
Again his reputation is the most important thing to consider. Ask for a list of references from clients he has worked for in the past. Take the list and ask these clients questions. Ask them if he finished on time, if he was on the job regularly checking things out or if he mostly relied on his workers. If he is reluctant to produce any of the things that we have mentioned in this article let this be a flag not to use this builder. This is your project and your money you need the best contractor you can find for your protection.