So, you’ve decided on your project, you’ve drawn up the plans and now you need to find the right Contractor, Builder or Project Manager to do the job. Your very first port of call should be to talk to people, speak to those that have been there and get recommendations from them. There’s no better way of knowing what level of service you’re going to get than by asking those who have previously had work done by the same company.
There’s nothing better than a recommendation from a friend or family member who’s had building work done. If family and friends can’t help, use our Find A Builder service search for professional builders in your local area. FMB Members are checked and inspected at the point of joining, and can offer you a warranty on your work through FMB Insurance Services.
Another way of getting reassurance is by using a reputable website or professional builder listing such as the Find A Builder service, where previous customers can leave reviews of the work they have had done. Another way is to use builders that are members of certified and reputable organisations such as FMB Insurance Services, at FMB the Contractor or Builder must undergo stringent validation and quality checks before being allowed to become a member, which should give you some peace of mind.
Before you approach the Contractor or Builder, make sure that you are clear about what it is you want them to do. Have some questions prepared so that you can get a good feel for how they work and how well they will communicate with you and keep you updated on progress. Have a file of your project to hand, include any architectural drawings, plans, photographs, mood boards and so on. That way, not only will you be clear of your vision and direction, the Builder will be too.
SEEK OUT MULTIPLE QUOTES
Before you finally decide on your builder, make sure that you get at least 3 separate quotes with breakdowns and compare the work. Be aware, the cheapest is not necessarily the best, ask yourself, how they can do the job so cheaply, are they scrimping on trade skills, or materials? Sometimes it is worth going with the slightly more expensive option if the quality of the work and your project vision is shared.
BREAK IT DOWN
Check that the quote is clear, does it include everything you have asked for? What about any extras such as waste removal, site clearance, working conditions, health and safety guidelines? Does the quote look professional? Have they included the cost of finishing or fixtures and fittings? Think out of the box, imagine your finished project, how do you want it to look? What do you want to be left? Read, check and verify the small print.
GO AND SEE THEIR WORK
Proud builders are happy to show off their work and answer any questions you might have. The best way to see what they can do is to ask them for a project they may have worked on, or the name of a contact so that you can go and see it for yourself. Ask them to take you there so that they can fully explain what they did, if your Contractor or Builder is not keen to do this or doesn’t seem overjoyed at the prospect of taking up some of their time, then surely your decision is already made?