or “I wonder if the builders I’m about to hire will drag the job out and potentially give me the run around?” Discovering a good builder first time round, could lead to lifelong relationship with them, but encountering a bad builder could lead to huge problems. Here are a few tips that can help you along the way.
Look in the right places - The first and most important piece of advice is to go for personal recommendation. Talk to people in your local area who’ve recently had work done to their home. Advice from someone who lives in a house of similar age, and has a project completed that is also of similar size, is a bonus as this will help you track down a builder with the right expertise. If you are using an architectural designer for your project, it may be worth checking to see if they have any useful contacts. Keep in mind that you should aim for 3 quotes from different building firms.
Do some investigating - Once you’ve found some likely candidates for your self build, ask them for a written quote, and the more detailed you can be about your requirements, the more accurate your quote will be. Be clear about what needs to be included as well as the job itself. Ask for three references from each builder and follow them up, by paying a visit to check the quality of their work. Don't forget to ask plenty of questions about the builder’s work and how the project went on. You should ensure that each builder that you’ve received a quote from has appropriate liability insurance; ask to see the certificate to be sure of this. Also, ask about payment terms and costs for over spend.
Draw up a written agreement - Once you’ve picked your builder, you’ll need to draw up a written agreement. Ensure you include as much detail as possible. Consider including start and finish dates of the project, a detailed cost of the project, payment stages and amounts, a penalty clause if the work isn't completed within the given time constraints arrangements regarding rubbish clearing, toilets, water and electricity and when you will meet the builder. It may be a good idea to arrange weekly meetings with builder to go over the progress of the project.
You should be prepared for unseen costs, since problems may arise during the course of the project that could not be predicted. If this does happen, you need to approve the costs of the additional work before the work goes ahead, so agree this process with your builder upfront.
Arc Design Services Ltd are a fully Accredited Planning Agent in the Trafford Council area, catering for all client aspirations. We work on all types of residential architectural design projects within the South Manchester and Cheshire area relating to residential design from domestic extensions, loft conversions, remodeled homes, alterations and refurbishments to one-off designed, bespoke new build homes.
If you’d like any more advice about finding the perfect builder or any other advice regarding the design of your home, then contact us today!