How to get the best out of your builder?

If you are about to embark a building project it is important that you choose the right builder for a successful project. Here are some tips as to how to get the best out of your builder, straight from a builder’s mouth!

Research

Before you begin your project do your research well. Try to imagine what your project will look like when it is finished. To help you with this you might consider speaking to an architect especially on larger projects involving structural changes or an interior designer for internal alterations. You may also try and gain inspiration from other similar projects, a great way to do this is from magazines or via the internet. Social media can help too, Houzz is a social network that dedicates itself entirely to all things around the house and is an excellent source of information. You may also consider Pinterest where you can build up a board of images that will help give you some ideas.

Brief

Be clear and be specific, tell you builder exactly what is important to you and what is less important to you. Draw up a schedule of works, again you may need the help of an architect or interior designer for larger or more complex projects. But if you are undertaking the work yourself, itemise everything that you want to have done.

Choose the right builder

Your builder will be in your house for a considerable amount of time depending upon the scale of your project. There will generally be considerable amount of money changing hands so it is important that the builder you choose, will be trustworthy, skilled and pleasant to deal with. It is important then that the builders you chose to tender for your project all satisfy these requirements.

Ask for advice

Neighbours friends and family are good source of information to help you build your shortlist, especially those that have gone through the upheaval of a major building project. Speak to those in the profession, architects, designers, surveyors, building inspectors are likely to know trade people that are rated. Check your potential builders reviews on Google, Trustpilot or Houzz as these are impartial and will give you an independent point of view. Chase up any references that your builder has given and if you have the time have a look at their work.

Communication

Once your project has started it is important that your project stays on time and on budget, and being able to communicate with your builder on a regular basis. Try to schedule a regular phone call or meeting with your builder, to discuss the progress of the work. This way any unforeseen problems or changes can be quickly navigated to ensure a successful project.

Payment

Agree how the project is going to paid for. A contract is a good idea and should cover issues like payment and timings and who is liable for each element of the project. It is not good to pay large deposits as you expose your self to potential risk. Regular payments that wont leave your builder out of pocket generally work for both parties.

Completion

At the end of every building job the small ‘snagging’ jobs are every builders worst nightmare as they involve much time but with little reward for the builder, it can also stretch out the length of time that you have tradesmen in your house. Try and uncover all of the little finishing jobs together with you builder, make a list and try to get them completed as soon as possible. Try not to make another list once the first has been completed!

Write your builder a review

Let others know how good or bad your builder is by writing an honest review. Tell your builder that you will be doing this at the start of the project which will also incentivise your builder to try and do the best job they can possibly do.

Make tea!

Although clichéd, most builders who have a strong relationship with their client are likely to do a better job and the simple kind act of making tea for thirsty workers is likely to carry much favour!