Trying to find a reliable builder can be like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s not an empty industry and yet the “reliable” aspect trips us up. We all hear stories of rip-offs, shoddy jobs, unsafe environments, and more.
But never fear. Whether you’re looking for someone to lay your herringbone flooring or to turn your garage into a man cave, we’ll help you find the person for the job. If you’re looking for a builder, you’ve come to the right place. Read through our guide to make sure you find someone reliable to handle your renovations.
Ask the Pros
If you have, say, for example, a reliable electrician you’re already using, or a plumber who always manages to get the work done without a hitch, ask them for recommendations. A lot of tradesmen tend to run into the same faces at projects and can get a sense of who they think is doing a job and who isn’t.
Local builders in particular are likely to offer a lot of benefits to your build. Their knowledge of local planning permission, builder’s merchants, and time-on-site will all come in useful for your build. If you want to take it a step further, you can take a drive around the area and ask around any sites you see.
Failing that, you can ask local authority building inspectors for some “guidance”. They, in fact, aren’t guaranteeing a great experience and cannot give recommendations, but they’ve not known a problem to come from “So and So” here!
If you’re working with an architect, you’re in luck, they have no such qualms. If you ask them for a recommendation, you’re going to get the experience of working in the area backing their decision.
Word of Mouth
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. Ask any friends, family, co-workers, pub landlords, etc. if they have used a builder they would highly recommend building their extension or putting down their herringbone flooring. Riffling through leaflets coming through the door can only say that these builders exist, but not if they’re reliable.
Online, however, you can gain some customer feedback. Take a look at reviews on local sites to weed out any bad stories. A good rule of thumb when looking at reviews for anything is to look at 3-star reviews, which tend to point out the good and bad, and therefore aren’t written by anyone with an agenda. However, when it comes to building, ignoring 1-star reviews could become an expensive mistake to make.
You can even ask potential hires to supply you with a few customers to contact. You’ll see their work first-hand and find out what your potential builder is really like.
Assess their Suitability
Once you have a good list gathered from friends, family, and industry peers, look at exactly what these builders offer. There is a process to understanding if they are suitable for the job.
Ask where these builders are based, what jobs they already have going on, and if they’re local. These will indicate how realistic your project is for them to take on and if your project will be a top priority if they take on too much.
While you’re asking questions, remember to ask if they will sign off on gas and electrics, if they have the right warranties and insurance in place, and if they are a member of a trade organization.