7 Tips to Choosing the Right Builder

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					Selecting a builder to work on your home is an important decision. If your
construction project is not carried out to the sufficient quality, you may be burdened
with escalating charges and a lot of stress. This article overviews 7 great tips to help
you pick the best builder. Follow this useful and informative guide and you'll be more
likely to make a wise decision - one that will not lead to dissapointment or
unnecessary cost :
  1) Find out how long the builder has been in business.
  Ask the builder just how long they've been in business, and try to verify their answer.
When the builder is a Limited company, you can check the date of incorporation of
their business on Companies House (www.companieshouse.gov.uk). When they are a
sole trader, you can call HMRC or Customs and Excise (if they're VAT Registered) in
order to verify when the sole trader business was formally registered to trade. Just
making these enquiries may possibly uncover things that shed a negative light on the
builder. For example, should they have not formally registered their business and
therefore are not declaring income for tax purposes - is this the type of company you
want to deal with? All being well, you will find that precisely what they've said is
readily verifiable, with little effort.
  2) Does the builder possess a permanent business address.
  Ask the builder for his or her business address, and confirm it independently. Again,
if the builder is a limited company, you should be able to determine the trading
address and registered office address from companies house. When they are a sole
trader, you can confirm their address through HMRC or Customs and Excise. If it's
less than easy to find out and / or confirm the address of the builder, then this should
raise some alarm bells. Any business who doesn't have an readily identifiable address
will probably be one that doesn't desire to be identified. Reputable and honest
businesses strive to be very easily found.
  3) Request and validate 'recent' client testimonials.
  Make sure that you ask for the contact information for a minimum of three previous
customers of the builder - and make sure you talk to each of the three. Ask for some
detail about the project carried out, when it was completed, what was the price etc...
The more detail you can get the better. Aim to establish whether they have any
personal connection with the builder. If at all possible, ask if you can visit to take a
look at the work that was completed. A real client will usually be more than pleased to
show off their new extension if they have been genuinely happy with the
workmanship from the builder.
  See : builders London
  4. A thorough quotation = a thorough builder.
  Less reputable builders are likely to produce quotations quickly and with only very
basic effort and work. It won't represent any detailed thought process, and will
frequently just represent a ballpark estimate. You should beware, because this lack of
attention for detail could end up being the attention to detail that the builder puts into
your building project. An in depth quotation, in which the builder has broken down
the project and costed each individual element should fill you with more confidence
that you receive what you really are being offered.
  5. Education, education, education.
  Become knowledgeable about the kind of project you need completed, and make
sure you are clear about average / expected charges, likely duration and general
materials used. There is a wealth of info on the internet, so it's very straightforward to
spend some time teaching yourself. Make your understanding obvious to the builder.
If it's clear they know what you are talking about, they're less likely to take advantage.
  See : builders Birmingham
  6. Is the builder adequately insured, and what cover do you get on completion.
  Ask the builder about insurances and warranties to cover their work. Ideally, you
ought to be covered both throughout the project being completed for any collateral
damage caused to your property, and after the project is finished. Make it clear that
you will require written confirmation of the insurances / warranties covering their
work before you'll proceed.
  7. ONLY EVER proceed on a FIXED cost basis with a written contract.
  Never, ever proceed unless you have received a clearly comprehensive FIXED
charge for the project - and you've got a written contract.
  Hopefully these 7 useful tips will help in making a wise decision in choosing a
builder. Do not cut corners - and don't get carried away by slick salesmanship or
perhaps a cheap quote. In fact, you shouldn't pick a builder just on price - since the
cheapest quote sometimes ends up being the one that will set you back by far the
most.
  As the saying goes, "you get what you pay for" - and never has this been truer than
when considering the building trade.

				
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posted:2/18/2011
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