Hiring a Builder

One of the key aspects of any project is hiring the right person to do the job. We’ve seen the Cowboy builder programmes, we’ve read the articles in the local herald and we’ve witnessed some of the downright shoddy workmanship ourselves…. Here’s how to avoid hiring a Rogue Trader..

Hiring a Builder: The best form of recommendation is word of mouth. If your neighbours or friends are having or have had work done recently, ask if you can have a look around. Chances are, they’ll jump at the chance to show off their new addition! It’ll also help you visualise what you could have and if its even worth it for you.

Ask for recommendations: Any reputable builder will gladly put you in touch with previous clients. If for any reason your builder is uncomfortable with this then now’s the time to bail out!

Contract: Carrying out building works on your home is a big financial commitment and can be quite daunting if you allow it to be. Ensure that there is a clear contract in place for you even think of handing over any money. This contract should stipulate stages of payment, dates of completion, and of course total cost. Be aware that it is not unreasonable for a builder to ask you for a percentage up to 33% upfront. Like you, the builder is also making a financial commitment to the project and will need income to hire the necessary people and order the initial materials. If you’ve done your research and you’ve hired the right person then you should not feel uneasy about this.

Cost: Plain and simple. Never accept a quote because it’s the cheapest. The process of hiring a builder is all about who you trust to do the job well. Chances are, this person will be a large part of your life for the upcoming months so it’s important that you choose someone who you can get along with. In any building project there is a chance that through no fault of the builder, things can go wrong or problems can arise that you just couldn’t have allowed for. If you get on with each other and you have respect for one another’s circumstances then you’ll quickly resolve the problem fairly at the price of a cup of tea and a couple of chocolate hob nobs! Remember….Pay peanuts, get monkeys!

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