When it comes to hiring a builder, it can feel like a bit of a minefield. After all, you don’t need builders every day, and odds are you probably haven’t hired one before now. So you might not know what to look for in hiring one, and how to avoid falling foul of the dreaded ‘cowboy builder’. So today, we’ve got some advice and information to help you find the right builder for you.
Work Out What You Need
The first step to finding the perfect builder for you is to understand what you actually need them for. After all, you’ll never achieve anything if you don’t know what the goal is first! So sit down, ask yourself some questions and get some clarity on what exactly it is you need. This is also where you establish your budget, timeline, if you need extra tradesmen involved and what you need the builders to do. This means you’ll be able to find the right kind of builders for your project, and your builder will be able to give you a much more accurate quote for the work too!
Put Together a Shortlist
Now that you know what type of builder you need, it’s time to put together a shortlist. The best approach to this is look up builders who are local to you, as this means you won’t be spending extra on transport costs for them to work outside their area! If you know anyone who has had building work done, as them who they used and if they would recommend them. Try to stay as local as possible, and build yourself a shortlist of at least 3 builders you want to talk to about your project.
Compare on 3 Things
Experience: How long has each company been in business? Can they provide you with some examples of their work, or a list of clients? Experience is a great thing to look for in any builder, and by asking to see some examples you can see if they have maintained their quality workmanship over that time as well.
Prices: Now, we will be the first to say you shouldn’t base your decision on price alone. But by comparing the costs of your shortlist, you can get a general feel for what is reasonable, and if anyone is sticking out as far too expensive or far too cheap, you can ask questions about why.
Services: What range of services does each builder offer? If you’re looking for a specialist builder, then you need to make sure they have the skills in house to help you. And even if you’re looking for something relatively simple, knowing that your builder also has the skills (or staff) to handle any extra things that might come up during the project (like electrical work or plumbing) can be very reassuring.
Ask About Insurance
To round everything off, make sure you look at what insurance your top choices have. Because let’s be honest building can be a very dangerous thing, and the last thing you want is to be liable for any damage or injury that happens when they’re working on your property. So ask them for the type of insurance they have and what it covers – and if you can see proof of this insurance as well. You don’t need to have an in-depth knowledge of the policies themselves, but if you know they have insurance and it’s still valid, then it’s a very good sign.
So there you have it. Hiring a builder for any project doesn’t take any sort of magic, brilliant science or a secret password. All it takes is a little patience, know-how and a good gut feeling! If you’d like any more information on what to look for in your builder, or you want to ask us any of those questions, we would love to chat! Just get in touch with us to arrange a conversation with one of our team.