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Choose Your Builder Carefully

When considering any building work to your property and you need to employ a builder, the choice needs to be made with great care. If things go wrong with your builder it can have serious effects on the biggest financial investment you are possibly ever likely to make.

First things first.  Are you

  • confident that you are able to design and specify your project?
  • able to manage any approvals and agreements needed for the work?
  • confident that you can supervise the building and a detailed technical contract?

If not, we advise that you always take independent professional advice, for example from an architect, surveyor or building engineer or an experienced construction professional, whose services can be tailored to meet your needs and who will make sure the whole project is a success.

Remember Building Control is available for professional and impartial advice and guidance – if in doubt, please ask us on 01462 474355.

Some important questions to ask your builder or trades-person

  • How long have they been trading or in business?
  • Can they provide references and details of a low claims history with a recognised trade organisation?
  • Where have they worked before?
  • Are they happy for you to see their previous work and talk to their customers?
  • Can they supply references from satisfied clients?
  • What is their expertise and experience in the particular project you intend to carry out?
  • How do they want to be paid – on completion or in stages? Is payment subject to you being happy with the work?
  • Are they happy for you to keep back a portion of the agreed price until you are satisfied it is actually finished?
  • Can they provide financial references?
  • Will they give you a completion date for the work?
  • Will they accept a penalty clause if they fail to complete the work on time?
  • Will they agree to having any dispute between you independently resolved?

Finally, reassure yourself by checking out the builder’s work, references and other aspects like work habits and reliability with the builder’s previous clients.

Ask questions and keep a note of the answers - don’t wait until it’s too late.

Please note that the Council cannot recommend or comment upon a builder, architect, surveyor or other professional.

Useful Links:

RICS Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
CIOB Chartered Institute of Builders
FMB Federation of Master Builders
ABE Association of Building Engineers
CAB Citizens Advice Bureau
NFB National Federation of Builders
HBF House Builders Federation