In 2016, the construction industry hired an additional 55,831 employees, with the value of work completed totalling £99,266 million – a record high. With so many options, it’s hard to know which builder to choose for the job. Here, Cleveland Containers provide five top tips for you to follow when choosing the right builder.
The building and construction industry is one that’s built on recommendations, and you should take full advantage of this.
Speak with people in your local area to see if there’s a builder they would recommend to carry out the job at hand (or more importantly, if there’s anyone to avoid!).
Check out Google reviews, Facebook and TrustPilot too, as any credible builder will be on at least one of these platforms. Just make sure that the reviews you’re reading are up to date – sure, they may have had rave reviews in 2010, but that doesn’t tell you what they’re like now.
Check Trade Associations
If a builder belongs to a legitimate trade association, then you can treat that as a big, green tick next to their name.
Trading associations aren’t compulsory, and builders must compete for membership and meet strict guidelines, so it’s one way to help identify a great builder.
We’d recommend searching The Federation of National Builders (FNB) database, as it’s the most well-known trade association in the construction industry. Simply type in your postcode and the type of builder you’re looking for, and you’ll be presented with a list of options in your area.
It’s worth checking to see if the builder you’re looking at has a TrustMark on their website, which is a government-backed trade body with 30 schemes operating under it, including the FNB.
Avoid Low Prices
Whilst the highest price doesn’t necessarily mean the best builder, be wary of those who are quoting costs that are substantially lower than everyone else.
Ultimately, builders – like every other type of business – need to make a profit. Whilst they may have provided you with a low quote to win the job, they may well charge extra fees throughout the project, or cut corners to save themselves money.
Building work isn’t a temporary fix – with the amount of money you’re spending, you need to be happy with the end result, and know that it will last, as a badly done job could be dangerous. Plus, it’ll only result in you spending more money over the years to get it sorted.
You don’t want to be ripped off, but also, you want to be wary of extremely low prices. When you speak with prospective builders, ask them to write down the quote, breaking down the cost for each task; and detail the work to be carried out.
Good builders have nothing to hide, and will happily answer any questions you have. This includes specifics about the project itself and the work it will entail, in addition to other factors like costs, timeframes and when they can start the work.
Don’t be afraid to ask your builder to provide you with recommendations, and examples of previous projects they’ve carried out. If they can’t, then steer clear. There will be many great builders out there who will gladly give you examples and answer your questions.
Communication is Key
Whilst on paper, you may have found a builder that looks great, you need to ensure that you both communicate effectively, and are on the same wavelength.
Do they understand what you want from this project, and any specifics that you need? This is crucial to ensuring that they can achieve what you’re looking for.
Also, consider this: does your prospective builder reply back to you promptly? If they take a week to reply, or simply ignore you altogether, then realistically they’re not the right person for the job. After all, you don’t want them to start work on a big job and then fail to provide you with regular updates, as you’ll constantly be worrying that the work isn’t being carried out to the standard you want.
To conclude, choosing the right builder for your job can be overwhelming, simply because there are so many to pick from! However, these five tips will help you to sift through your options and find the builder that will achieve the vision you’re looking for, at the right price, complete with rave reviews.