When considering any building work to your property, and you need to employ a builder, the choice needs to be made with great care. If things go wrong with your builder it can have serious effects on possibly the biggest financial investment you are ever likely to make.
First of all, you should be:
- confident that you are able to design and specify your project;
- able to manage any approvals and agreements needed for the work;
- confident that you can supervise the building and a detailed technical contract.
If not, we advise that you always take independent professional advice - for example, from an architect, surveyor, building engineer or an experienced construction professional, whose services can be tailored to meet your needs and who will make sure the whole project is a success and runs smoothly.
Some important questions to ask your builder or tradesperson
- How long have they been trading or in business?
- Can they provide references and details of a low claims history with a recognised trade organisation?
- Where have they worked before?
- Are they happy for you to see their previous work and talk to their customers?
- Can they supply references from satisfied clients?
- What is their expertise and experience in the particular project you intend to carry out?
- How do they want to be paid – on completion or in stages?
- Is payment subject to you being happy with the work?
- Are they happy to for you to keep back some of the agreed price of the work until you are satisfied it is actually finished?
- Can they provide financial references?
- Will they give you a completion date for the work?
- Will they accept a penalty clause if they fail to complete the work on time?
- Will they agree to having any dispute between you independently resolved?
Finally, reassure yourself by checking out the builder’s work, references and other aspects like work habits and reliability with the builder’s previous clients.
Ask questions and keep a note of the answers - don’t wait until it’s too late.
Although Building Control cannot recommend or comment upon a builder, architect, surveyor, building engineer or other professional, we are happy to give you professional and impartial advice and guidance. Please contact the officer for your area by using our contact list, or contact our general enquiry team at firstname.lastname@example.org