Check out your builder

Check out your builder

Recommendations to check out your builder before you appoint one and start making payments to them

So… you’ve narrowed down your selection of builders. You’d now like to conduct a few final checks to check their reputation and legitimacy. It’s so important that you check out your builder so you’ve got full confidence in them. You’re going to be trusting them with creating your dream space and what is most likely your biggest asset. This is big ticket stuff!

Check out your builder

Here’s a few final check tips:

  1. Check they are a legitimate registered company. You should see their company registration number and VAT number on quotes. These can be verified with a check online with Companies House.
Companies house

2. Check they are fully insured. The builder should be able to forward you their insurance policy.

3. Check their website. What impression does this give you?

Website check

4. Request references from previous customers. We’d recommend at least 3 so you can be sure they are not just giving you contact details of friends. We’d also recommend going to look at some of the work they have done. Even if you just evidence their work from the outside, you’re not just taking it as gospel over the phone. Some previous customers may allow you inside to view the work carried out too – even better! In addition to checking out the standard of their work, always ask other customers how they found it working with their builder in terms of project management, communication, sub-contractors, tidiness, unexpected costs, and timeliness.

Customer reviews thumbs up

5. Google the company name and see what reviews come up. Of course, any reviews are subjective and only give the customer view point. Therefore, if the majority of the reviews are positive but there are occasional negative ones, you may want to give the builder the benefit of the doubt. It’s not always an easy journey for the builder with certain customers. However, reviews imply “the customer is always right”. Just keep an open, subjective mind with reviews, but overall they should be positive.

Check out your builder

6. Do you “gel” with your builder? This is really important. It’s imperative that you feel you can trust your builder. It’s important you feel confident that they know what they are talking about. Do they understand your property visions and concerns? Open and regular communication between builder and customer is crucial throughout all stages of the build.

7. Finally, before you make any large payment to your builder (or any tradesmen come to that!), make a token 1p payment and get confirmation by phone that they’ve received it. Fraudulent invoicing through email hacking is rife in this industry. No payments unless you’re confident it’s your builder’s bank account the monies are going to! Do a nominal trial run first before any bulky amounts are transferred. And really think twice before making cash payments. You will have no come back or money trail, and won’t be insured for any works paid for in cash. To read more about payments with your builder and see our recommended payment schedule read our blog here.

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