Build Right


Are you looking to improve your home but concerned about who to use to do the work due to fear of falling victim to a rogue trader?

Having building or home improvement work done can be tough and stressful and that is why you need to take the right measures to ensure that you are confident both in their ability to do the work, and that you will have a good working relationship with them. Here are a few things that you can do before you employ builders to try and make sure that you appoint the right people and that the job goes as smoothly as possible.

Word of mouth: Ask your friends and family to recommend building firms who have done work for them.

Building regulations: Aside from potentially needing to secure planning consent from the local authority for the building work, some development jobs need to meet building regulations. To ensure the regulations are met, you will either need to use a tradesperson registered with the competent persons’ scheme in England and Wales.

Prepare a brief: Write a detailed specific job specification that explains precisely what work that needs to be done so that both you and your builders have a clear idea about what you want. The more detailed you are, the greater your chances of getting an accurate quote for the work.

Quotes: Ask at least three builders to provide quotes. It is important to agree a fixed cost or daily rate of pay, and the number of days the job is likely to take. Make sure you are clear how many hours work a builder will do a day for the price quoted.

What is included? Make sure the builders’ quotes cover everything you would like done, including supply of materials, removal of rubbish and cleaning up after the work is finished. Agree as much with the builder as possible in advance to avoid problems later on. It is best to get the terms and conditions of an agreement in writing.

Previous jobs: Ask for references and if possible visit the jobs that the builders have previously done and ask the customers if all went well.

Qualifications: Ask if the builder has NVQ or HND qualifications in construction and see copies of the certificates. You could also contact a professional association or a trade association to check which qualifications are relevant to the type of work being undertaken.

Payment: Ask for details of how the builder should be paid. This should be in instalments, as parts of the project are completed.

Insurance: Make sure the builder has the appropriate level of public liability insurance for the work to be carried out at your property.

Delivery date: Agree upon a day in writing that the work will be completed by.

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