When you’re looking for a local building contractor, there are a lot of companies to choose from. So how do you know you’re making the right choice? We’ve put together some advice on how to make sure you’re getting the best building contractor for your needs.

What do others think?

Word of mouth is a hugely reliable way to find the right builder for you. So ask friends, family and neighbours if they can recommend anyone – after all, they’re only going to recommend the builders who’ve done a great job! Also, if you’ve seen someone in your local area having building work done on their home, it may be worth asking the homeowner what they think and asking for a referral.

You can ask the contractors you’re considering to have a look at the projects they’ve completed, as well as asking them for testimonials from previous customers. A good company will be more than happy to oblige.

Other people you can ask are local tradespeople who have probably worked with builders before and will have local contacts, e.g. plumbers and electricians.

Are they the right contractors for the job?

Make sure you check out the services offered by each building contractor you are approaching. If you want a builder to work on a kitchen extension, make sure they have the skills and experience required to do that particular job – there’d be no point in approaching a contractor that only does loft conversions to do your kitchen! On the other hand, if you are planning major building and renovation work, go for a building contractor that offers a range of specialisms as they will be able to offer a single point of contact to manage the entire project.

Get quotes from at least three builders

Never make snap decisions about building work. We recommend that you get quotes from at least three building contractors, and don’t make your decision based on price alone. Go through the services as well as materials that each quote includes to make sure you’re comparing like-for-like. So do they all include the same details, such as cost of labour, all the materials, the hire of equipment, e.g. skips etc.

You also need to go through other aspects of working with a building contractor, for example their working hours, the timescale for starting and completing the work, site tidiness and, of course, how and when you will be asked to pay.

Contract

Before you give the final go-ahead, get a written contract with your builder that includes the details of everything that has been agreed, including details of insurance, warranties, work standards and how any disputes will be resolved, as well as payment terms. This will give you and your building contractor peace of mind and reduce the chances of confusion or disagreements.

Deposit

Expect your building contractors to ask for a deposit before they start work, especially if it’s a major job. This will cover the cost of materials and equipment, as well as any bespoke elements.

Insurance

Ask your builder for details of their insurance policy to make sure they’re covered.

Find out what happens when the work’s finished

Find out in advance what will happen after the work has been completed so you understand the certificates and warranties you can expect, as well as an agreement on fixing snagging issues.

If you would like us to quote for building work you have planned, or would like to find out more about what we can offer, please feel free to contact us now.

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