Choosing your builder
When starting out with a project, we recommend that you employ a qualified architect or surveyor. They will be able to assist you through the design and planning stage of your project.
Choosing the right builder is an important stage of any project. Always get written quotes from builders – preferably at least three. Check that all the work you require is included in the quote. Do not automatically choose the lowest quote, instead, consider also:
- If possible, using a builder who has been personally recommended to you. If not, looking at references from recent customers.
- Ensuring you have planned the work and decided what you want before asking for a quote.
- Checking if the builders are happy for you to hold a retention payment. A retention payment is a portion of the total fee (often 5%) that is retained by the client until the project is completed. Retention payments can help ensure that the building work is completed as initially agreed.
- Checking that the builder has liability insurance.
- Checking that the builder has up to-date knowledge of current building practice.
- Ensuring you have a formal contract outlining what will be done, and when.
- For any electrical work, ensuring you employ an electrician belonging to a Competent Persons scheme. You can find a registered electrician at the electrical competent person website.
- For any gas work, ensuring you employ an engineer who is on the Gas Safe register. You can find a registered gas engineer at the Gas Safe Register website.
Take the time to ask any questions you might have now. Choosing the right builder now will help to prevent problems further down the line.
You may also want to visit the FrontDoor website, published by Local Authority Building Control (LABC) for more useful information on what you should consider before starting your project.