When starting a new project, one of the most common worries is how to find a good builder. Here at Pride Road we often get asked for recommendations on how to find a builder. In this blog post, we have rounded up some of the most important points and questions to ask.
What is the size of your project?
You must first determine the size of the project; how big it is and what the contract value is. This often determines the type and size of builder that would do the work and also, their location to the job.
You establish what kind of builder you want first of all and that depends on the kind of job that you need to be completed.
Do you know anyone who has recently used a builder?
Here at Pride Road we think the best way to select a builder is through personal recommendations. Ask the people that you know to see if they or any of their acquaintances have recently employed a builder.
When looking for a recommendation you need to ask people who have had a job similar to the one that you want to be done. If you like the look of the work, ask them who built it and if they were satisfied.
The most important questions.
Are they tidy? Do they clean up after each day?
This may not seem important but cleaning up at the end of each day not only means the site is safer but also that no permanent damage is made to your property.
At the end of the project, a builder should at the least remove all debris and as much dust as possible.
Are they responsive to changes and comments?
If a builder cannot make changes during a project or is not responsive to necessary reevaluations during the work the project could end up much more expensive. Sometimes you will come up against unexpected problems during the work and a builder that can change course and take these into account is valuable to any large renovation project.
Do they keep to the timetable and cost?
This is especially important if you are looking for a builder for an internal renovation or as a part of a much larger job. If the builder cannot keep to a timetable it will hold up all stages of the project and you could possibly lose later contractors to other jobs if they cannot start on your property in time.
Keeping to cost as much as possible is important. A builder that keeps adding costs to projects should ring alarm bells. Why were these costs not foreseen and how long will these unexpected costs carry on?
What is the builder’s background?
Builder’s usually produce anything that the client wants.
However, it may be that the builder is very good at finishing because they come from a shop fitting or interiors type background. Some builders are only really good at doing rushed stuff on the exterior. Look at the builder’s previous examples of work and his style.
Can you talk to their previous clients?
Ask their previous clients how much input the builder had and if they were satisfied. If they only finished the job or started it, you may need to talk to other clients with jobs more similar to your own.
When talking to them you should find out if the project started on time, did the project run smoothly, was the builder courteous both to them and to neighbours, did they do a good job, and was there any trouble with building inspectors?
Get three quotes and then choose with references
You should try to select three builders of the right standard and then ask them for a quote. Don’t be concerned about choosing a different builder or saying no to someone once they have provided a quote. Builders will expect clients to get a range of quotes and if a builder is pushy at this stage it may be a warning.
You can also ring up more than one previous customer to get an all-round feel. Many builders have comments and letters of recommendation on their websites, and there are many online forums reviewing builders.
The builder may also be a member of a quality guild or some other federation which often provide references as well.