Here are some handy hints & frequently asked questions:
1. Do your research, can the company be trusted?
Looking for a trusted builder can be easier than you think. People often ask a friend or family who has had work done. If this is not possible, ask the builder for the numbers of their last 3 clients and give them a call to see if they would recommend them. You can also look for feedback via google search or view their website to see who they are partnered with and trusted by.
It is strongly recommended to check if they are associated with the Federation of master builders, as members are checked and inspected and can offer you a warranty on your work through FMB Insurance services: http://www.fmb.org.uk/. Check if they are also regulated by the BBA (British building association)
2. Do they offer the care you deserve?
Are they putting you at the top of their list? It is very important, that during your project, you are their main focus and they collaborate in providing a time-tabled schedule of work.
3. Are they accessible?
Can they provide contact details for the project manager who will be readily available for any questions? Do they offer an alternative contact who can also deal with any general enquiries?
4. Are they transparent?
When finding the right builder, make sure they provide a clear process and service. Are they transparent in what is included and how this will be delivered? The quote should be self-explanatory with no hidden costs. Make sure you receive it in writing (paper or digital) for both parties to agree.
5. Do their core values a line with you?
To find the right builder it is always good to research their core values. This is something that theonths fry will be proud to promote and if not readily available it may be worth asking them if they have any.
6. Are they reliable?
A good indication of reliability starts from the first point of contact. Do they provide a prompt call back service and manage their client’s expectations? Do they set out when you can expect the quote and stick to the timescale? However large or small, client care should be their focus. You may have to wait months for a good builder
7. Are they professional?
A warning sign would be if the builder turns up without any preparation. Do they take notes and ask the right questions (not back of a cigarette pack notes)? A professional will come prepared, with relevant questions, paper and pen or a note pad. Can they provide an information or presentation pack for you? Do they have a professional website, genuine email address or use a third party address (e.g gmail,yahoo,live). When receiving the quote is it just a price or a full breakdown including everything you may require?
8. Do they work around your budget?
It is always best to compare a few quotes for your project. Discussing your budget expectations with your builder can be a really good way of getting the most out of your relationship. If you have a clear idea of what you want, your builder will be able to assist you with setting a realistic budget to make it work.
Remember a cheaper quote does not always mean the best value for money. Check and agree on what services and materials are included in a quote for example: does it include removal of waste and materials in line with building regulations?