Tips on Selecting a Local Friendly Builders
1. Recommendations from friends and family
The absolute best way to find a builder is through someone you know recommending them. Although not fool-proof this method gives you the security that you know another person has experienced the builders craftmanship, time-keeping and costs. If they have had a good experience and passed on the builders details then you should still follow the following tips just to be on the safe side.
2. Finding a local builder
If you live in a village then you probably receive a local newsletter perhaps provided by the parish council or a group of volunteers. These newsletters usually carry a wide selection of tradesman that operate in your area, these very local builders have the added benefit of knowing the area so if you where planning an extension to your home or adding a conservatory then the chances are the builder would have some experience of planning approval in the UK.
If you don’t receive a local newsletter then you may choose to look though a business directory, local newspaper or the internet to source a builder you require for a project.
3. Initial contact
Once you have selected a small number of builders the next step is to contact them. Most people would go straight in with asking for an informal quote over the phone, however its much more beneficial to find out if the builder has had some experience of the particular project you have in mind. Ask if you could be sent details of previous similar projects, some builders have a list of people that have agreed to be contacted by prospective clients to seek feedback on completed jobs.
If the builder in more than happy to pass on details of other happy customers then move on to tip Four, if not then keep looking until you find a builder that is confident in their previous work. Remember happy previous customers could be friends or family of the builder so ask for a few client testimonials.
4. The consultation and quote from the builder
At this point we can assume you have invited a builder round to survey the work needed and provide you with a written quote. Please remember all builders at this point will come across as charming and friendly but you need to side-step this technique and ask some really gritty questions.
Find out how many years the builder has been trading for and the number of builders working for the company. Ask the builder for a detailed report on the work needed to be carried out with a break down of all costs involved. Remember that you are trying to ascertain if there will be additional costs when you receive the final bill, by getting the builder to write a detailed quote then you can begin to mitigate against increased prices.
5. Agreeing the quote and commencing work
Once you have a written contract which has a detailed report covering all the necessary work AND shows a fixed cost then you can be sure you have selected the right local builder.