How to choose the correct builder:
Your home is your biggest asset and however you choose to extend it can increase the value of the property. If it done correctly. However, choose the wrong builder and it can quickly cause a disaster.
Picking the right builder
You would not ask a brain surgeon to perform plastic surgery on a patient, it is the same with builders. It is crucial to pick the right one. Many different builders will have a specialist in the way they choose to build or have a preferred type of build. Some may prefer smaller jobs, other the larger more obscure jobs – it is important to choose the one that fits your build. Choosing a builder who is not able to perform the job can have horrible consequences.
It is true that almost anyone can call themselves a builder, good builders will be registered with a certified trade association and would have been properly vetted to ensure that they are operating correctly. Look for the correct logo and if you are ever unsure, you can directly contact the federation and get this checked.
Just in case the worst happens.
As a bare minimum, every builder should have Pubic and Employers liability insurance. Without these policies in place, the existing parts of your home and property are at risk. Contracts works should also be in place to ensure the cover damage to the new property that is being built.
Dig up the dirt!
Has a builder ever gone bankrupt or been disqualified from a company? You can easily find out their information, whilst some builders may have gone bust through no fault of their own, some builders are known for doing cheap work, take deposits then leaving. This is usually easy to find out.
The best sign of a good builder is their longevity, celebrating milestones shows the business can go the distance. 100s of start-ups do not make it, 80 of them go out of business within 5 years! Of the 20 remaining businesses, 16 will go bust before the company reaches 10 years old. That equates to about 4% of builders going the distance.
The busier the better
If a builder can start the job tomorrow, it is not usually a good sign and can usually mean they are waiting around for a job. Good builders will often have several jobs going on at once rather than being ready to go at any time. If a builder is ready to go the day after contracts have been signed it can be a huge red flag.
The more local the better
If a builder is local, they can assist you quickly and often have sites close to you. Keep an eye out for local advertising, and often ask questions on how long it would take for them to get you. If you’ve chosen to work with a builder who can often take over an hour to get to you then it could mean communication is harder and costs could exceed.
Lines of communication
Depending on how involved you are going to be during the job will depend on how you choose to communicate with your chosen builder. You may choose to give them complete control from stat to finish and only seeing the result or you may choose to be fully involved. No matter what you choose its highly important that you have great lines of communication, so you can discuss various of different things. It is important you can get in touch with your project manager easily!
Many builders will be extremely specific in their quotation and contracts so that they are able to get the correct supplies, often asking you if you wish to change anything that is simply the standard. If you are ever worried that you are not getting something that is up to scratch questioned it, and make sure corners are not being cut somewhere. Many builders will be willing to change supplies if you ask however it can come at an additional cost.
The added VAT
Being VAT registered or not is often a sign of the type of work the builder choose to carry out. Registration is compulsory on a turnover more than £85,000 within a 12-month period. Considering a few small extensions quickly put a builder over this threshold, if the builder is not VAT registered it can be another red flag.
Payment in full
Most reputable builders will ask for a small deposit to book the date of building work in and cover any administrative work as well as paperwork. However, if you hear a builder asking for a payment in full or even an extremely large proportion of the cost before starting then this is an extreme red flag and should be fully avoided. A reputable builder will have a payment schedule in place and will work with you to make payment as manageable for everyone involved.
The Legal Stuff
A builder who does not use any type of build contract is to be avoided all together. There are far too many unforeseen circumstances than can occur and sometimes major problems too. If there is not something in writing explaining how something will be resolved it can result in, he said she said. A contract will be specifying the client and builder obligations to cover these circumstances and will help you if you come into these issues.
Get your protective wear on
Now more than ever it is extremely important to watch and look how a builder operates, often their social media and reviews will be a good indication of this. If a builder is wearing full PPE, hard hats, hi-vis and is keeping safe, it is a great indication. If you’re ever unsure before building work starts, ask the correct questions and monitor their behaviour on site.
Give them a call!
If you think the builder you have found is the one, give them a ring. Their office will be able to answer any further questions you have as well as offer any case studies or references you may require.
Apollo Builders Group LTD are a trusted reliable team of expert builders ready to help you achieve your dream home.