Looking for a reliable builder: where to find one
If the renovation project you intend to carry out will require the expertise of a builder but you haven’t had experience of finding one before, then it could well be the case that you are feeling a little overwhelmed. After all, there is a lot of pressure (and a lot at stake) when it comes to choosing a builder: you want to make sure they are reliable, trustworthy and can also find one that will stick to your plans and on budget.
With all this mind, where should you start looking for a builder for your home renovations, such as a loft conversion project? Take a look at some of our top tips to help get you started.
Look for a builder recommended by other tradesmen
It can also be worth getting in touch with local tradesmen in your area to find the name of a builder who is well-liked, as well as also being able to decipher those who have a less-than-perfect reputation. Many tradesmen will have preferences for who they like to work with, and so this is a great way of finding out a network of reliable names you can call on.
Asking friends and family
This particular tip may not appear particularly groundbreaking, but it doesn’t mean you should avoid it! If you want to undergo a building project on your own home, or near to your current location, then it is well worth asking family members or friends to see if there is someone that they would recommend. Many trades such as this one, rely heavily on word of mouth.
Asking people close to you is often one of the most reliable ways of finding a good builder, as you are asking someone you trust and also you have the opportunity to view the work they have already completed, enabling you to make an informed decision as to whether they will do the job you want.
Looking for a builder online
An alternative to asking friends or family members for recommendations is to look online, but we recommend that you take precautions when looking on sites, to make sure that you do not end up with a dodgy tradesman.
What websites should you check out first? The first step you should take is to look at a site such as the Federation of Master Builders, as all tradespeople on the website have all been independently inspected and vetted in order to ensure they have valid documentation in place.
In addition, you could also look at the Guild of Master Craftsmen and Checkatrade.com which also carry out thorough checks on the people featured on their site, and allow you to find a builder who lives locally.
Chatting to previous customers is key
It is highly recommended that you talk to previous customers of the builder you are interested in using on your project, as it is an excellent way of filtering the good builders from the bad. Most builders will be happy to provide you with details of previous customers if they know they have done a successful job. Wondering what you would need to ask? Questions that you might like to consider include:
- Was the builder prompt?
- Did you have regular meetings with the site manager?
- Were there any hidden or extra costs for the project?
- Were they respectful and polite?
- Was the project completed on time and on a budget?
- What are their labourers like?
- Did they keep the site tidy?
Asking building inspectors for advice
Have you ever thought about asking the building inspectors from your local authority? This is a great way to find out more about local builders. However, keep in mind not all inspectors will be willing to provide information, and they act simply provide details as informal guidance for your building project.