If you are considering any work to your property and you require a builder, you should consider this choice very carefully. As this is one of the biggest investments you are likely to make, you should thoroughly check any builder out before employing their services.
Here are some things you should consider doing:
- For large projects consider employing a professional to advise you.
- Discuss the extent of your arrangement with your professional. Does it involve the preparation of plans only or is site supervision part of the package
- If you consider your job so small you don't require a professional, get advice from someone from the industry who you know and can trust.
- Always obtain quotations (at least three) and have them checked
- Don't automatically go for the cheapest quote
Ask questions of the builder:
- Where have they worked before?
- Are they happy for you to see their work?
- What is their expertise in the particular project you intend to carry out?
- How do they want to be paid - on completion or in stages?
- Can they supply references from satisfied clients?
- Are they happy to accept a retention clause?
- Will they give you a final completion date?
- Will they accept a penalty clause on failure to complete in time?
- Will they agree to independent arbitration should you have any dispute?
Finally, reassure yourself by checking out the builder's work, references and other aspects like work habits with previous clients.
Ask questions now, don't wait until it's too late!
Be safe...be sure...not sorry and never give the builder any money before work to the value requested has been carried out to good satisfaction. You should think twice before employing a builder/contractor who asks for money in advance.