If you’ve made it as far as deciding what to do with your home, then that’s great progress! Sometimes it’s hard to choose whether to keep your home as it is and make the best of it, sell it and look elsewhere, do some building work to improve it or even tear it down entirely and start all over again. If you’ve chosen one of the latter options, you’re going to need to select a contractor or building firm to work with on your home, which may be easier said than done. To get you started, here are just some of the top building firms in the UK from our own experience:
– Square Foot Solutions, a London building company specialising in property renovation and refurbishment
– Acorn Scaffolding for professional scaffolding hire in Somerset, Taunton, and Bridgwater
– CJ Fullwood from Derbyshire, who specialise in conservatory conversions
– 3W Developments, a large scale renovations specialist in Worcestershire
– G White Building Services in Somerset, experts in windows and lofts
– J P Construction, who specialise in new homes and reconstructions in Manchester
– Robert Woodhead Ltd who focus on energy efficient projects in Nottingham
Even if you have a few recommendations in mind, there are plenty of horror stories around making it difficult to know where to turn if you want to avoid disappointment, delays and dangerously bad work. Fortunately there are simple steps you can follow which should help you make a decision when faced with a range of different contractors to select from.
1) Official Certificates
If the builder you’re interested in hiring is part of a recognised trade body, such as the National Federation of Builders, Federation of Master Builders, or the Guild of Builders and Contractors. This certification will ensure they’re used to working to a high standard, and you can rely on them to complete the work on your property properly. You should also find out if they have any particular qualifications in building or similar work.
As well as official accreditations, make sure you have some examples of clients that your contractor has worked with before that you can follow up with and get more information. If your builder comes highly recommended and you can see what they’ve done for someone else, you can trust their experience a lot more.
Find out whether the building company in question does all the work themselves with their own employees, or whether they use sub-contractors. There is not necessarily a problem if they do, but it means they might not take responsibility for work done by people who are not directly employed by them, and the evidence you’ve seen so far might not be that relevant.
This should be obvious but with everything that goes on at the start of a project it can get forgotten. Ensure your builder has appropriate insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances causing a major issue, so nobody comes to regret this later.
5) Get A Proper Quote
Not only do you need to draw up a contract with a realistic quote, this needs to go into significant detail allowing you to compare with alternatives and refer back to it later if necessary. If you’ve been given an estimated price, make sure you agree how long you have to make a decision before this quote goes up.
6) Arrange The Payments Carefully
Make sure the payments you’ve agreed to make fit in with a schedule of work, so there are manageable phases in the plan and each one is planned and charged separately. Don’t forget to hold back the final payment until all the finer details have been dealt with at the end of the project and nothing is left outstanding, to avoid falling at the final hurdle.
As long as you’re able to get through all these steps without any problem and you have a plan for going ahead that can’t be beaten by a rival, you should have identified your perfect contractor! For more information to help you plan out your rebuild or conversion projects, check out the rest of our blog.