Buying off of the right builders for your project
You need to seek out building firms that are accredited. Also ones that have the right insurances and experience of the type of work you need doing. All of this is key for the way your project will be able to pan out. It is also key for how it will be able to complete in the end. Once you have your scope of works, you need to focus on finding the right company for you. Get quotes from multiple firms and choose the one you feel is the best fit for what it is you want to and wish to achieve. After all there are no end of builders out there.
Before hiring a builder, get your architect to look over the cost of the building works. This is all so you can clear up any issues before the builders start. Work out how this is all going to be able to work and if you have the funds to be able to support the job in the best way too.
The added value of recommendations
Personal recommendation is always the best way of finding a builder. It’s a major undertaking, and you want to make sure you have complete peace of mind from the start that the right builders are doing the job for you. Do your research. Ask friends, family and neighbours if they know of, or have used, reliable builders. Ask about the quality of the builders’ workmanship. Also ask on costs, reliability, how long it took them to complete the job. Find out whatever else you feel you need to know.
Tradesmen such as plumbers and electricians have invariably built up a network of builders. These are ones they’ll have worked with over the years. So ask for recommendations from tradesmen contacts that you have and trust. If you know anyone involved in the building trade, such as property buyers and architects, then find out whether they have a reputable builder that they use.
Take a good look at boards on various building sites
Keep an eye out for boards on building sites in your area. This is so you have an idea of firms working in your area, but always do your own research too. Check online for reviews and get feedback from people who have used the builders before.
The role a builder has
Building contractors are professional project managers and business owners, ranging from one-man operations to small to medium enterprises. They understand the construction process and the building industry, and how to keep a project on schedule by co-ordinating labour and materials, plant, tools, equipment, and taking into account other elements, such as bad weather. They have a legal duty to comply with building regulations and owe you a duty of care.
It is very important to have a written contract in place and a copy should have formed part of your tender documents, so that the builder is aware of the terms and conditions on which they are basing their quote. If you’re working with an architect or other type of project manager, who will help find and appoint the builder and then administer the contract, they will probably want to use one of the standard contracts published by the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT). A guide is available at Jctltd.co.uk(opens in new tab) to help you choose the right one.
Some larger main contracting firms and specialists, such as loft conversion companies, may have their own standard contracts. If you are appointing and managing the builder directly, you’ll need a different form of standard contract. The FMB produces a free contract, which can be adapted to individual projects. Another standard contract is available at Contract-pack.com, to download for £14.99.