Always carry out detailed checks before instructing a builder
Posted on 29th January 2024 at 15:55
What checks can you carry out when choosing your building contractor?
In January 2024, we were called back by a potential client we had previously priced for an extension earlier in 2023. The client was looking for a single-storey extension in their property in North West London and although we had originally priced for the works, they had decided to use a different building contractor for this project as they gave them a cheaper price! Sadly this client was having terrible issues with the builder he had chosen and approached us to visit the site and review the works carried out to date.
In this case, as we had already met the client, we knew the details of the project and the works carried out so far were only groundworks. We were able to step into the project and take over from the builder they had recently sacked. This is not always the case, if construction of the extension has already begun, this could mean taking the existing works back to the foundations to ensure the correct building regulations had been followed.
There are several checks you can carry out before instructing your building contractor.
When choosing a builder take time to do your due diligence.
1. Check on the review sites, and the feedback the building contractor has received, go back over years rather than the last one or two and ask the builder if you can speak to two of their previous clients.
2. Check out their accreditations, visit that website and check to make sure they are a part of The Federation of Master Builders.
3. Call your local building controller and see if they are aware of the company and any work they have carried out in the area.
4. Ask to visit their offices and meet the team they have working there.
5. Ask other tradespeople in the area if they know of a reliable builder or one they work with, often plumbers and electricians subcontract for local building firms.
What sort of information would you need to provide a reputable building contractor?
Ideally, you need to provide a building contractor with a set of drawings, the correct building control, planning permission, timescales and very importantly a payment plan. Hodgson Construction can provide a full design and build for any renovation project, including a full home renovation, loft conversion, extension, garden office, and garage conversion
What should you look out for when they are first on-site?
1. Do they arrive on time, are their team efficient and communicative?
2. Have they set up the site before they start the work?
3. Is there the correct hoarding and Harris fencing around the project?
4. Do you know how they are going to be removing waste from the site?
5. Have they provided their workforce with a portable toilet?
If you are ever concerned about the building works being carried out at your home or business, you can request a meeting with the builder and ask for work to stop until you are confident. In this case, the client stopped all work very early in the process and fortunately, Hodgson Construction had availability to pick up the project within the time scales that worked for this customer.
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