Builder's hard hat

Tips for choosing the best builder

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Working with an experienced and qualified builder for your project is one way to ensure that you get the best results. Compromising on the type of builder you choose can end up costing you more than you had initially planned. The construction industry is rapidly growing and getting saturated with all sorts of experts making it easy for you to find yourself working with a ‘cowboy’ builder. For you to get the perfect match for your project, you need to ask the right questions.

Builder at work
Builder at work

Important questions to ask a building contractor

When choosing a contractor for your project, asking the right questions will help you determine whether your builder is reliable or not. A reliable builder should be able to answer all questions without feeling intimidated in any way. So, what are these questions that you’re supposed to ask?

1. Are you a registered contractor

A professional builder shouldn’t hesitate to show any paperwork or documents that prove their legitimacy. You should be able to determine whether your contractor is registered with any recognised trade body. If they are accredited, the common trade bodies you should check in the UK include the Federation of Master Builders(FMB) and the National Federation of Builders(NFB).

2. For how long have you been active in the industry

For how long has the contractor been active in the industry? A longer duration implies that they have a better grasp of the trends in the industry thanks to their years of experience and the different projects handled during this time. This should also give you a better glimpse of their success rate.

3. What other projects have you handled before

The contractor should have a portfolio of the projects they’ve already handled. Looking at this will help you determine whether the contractor will be suited for your project. Can they handle the type of project you have or do they have a specific area of specialty?

4. Can you show me your ongoing projects

Looking at the ongoing projects will help you get insight into how your contractor works and communicates with his team. How do they maintain the site? Do they have any waste disposal solution? You might be lucky enough to get a design that inspires you.

5. Are they insured?

Any contractor who is serious about their work and who has their clients’ needs in mind should have insurance. From contract work insurance to employer’s liability insurance, these show that your contractor has your best interest. With insurance, you’re assured that you’ll be on the safe side should anything happen in the course of the project.

6. Can you refer me to some of your previous clients

One way to get honest feedback about a contractor is by talking to previous clients. They will tell you their honest opinion about the contractor’s work and how he deals with his customers. You might also get a chance to see some of your contractor’s work and gauge their level of skill and expertise.

7. Will you sub-contract anyone during the project

To avoid any complications, it’s good to know who you’re working with. Your contractor should inform you if there are any subcontracted parties they’re working with on the project or if they’ll handle everything from start to completion. This will help develop a clear line of communication when the project is underway.

Even though there are many things that you can do and questions you can ask to ensure that you’re working with the right contractor for your project, having clearly defined communication will go a long way. Also, it’s good to clearly define your expectations before commencing your project to avoid any disappointment along the way.

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