Guidelines for choosing the right contractor

Performing home improvements whether its a refurbishment , an extension , loft conversion, a new garden wall etc can have it's problems. After budgeting and obtaining plans for the construction it is also very important to find the right builder.Every homeowner has heard of the nightmares caused by  cowboy builders. So to keep yourself safe it is vital to spend some time before selecting a builder.

By taking a few careful steps you can ensure your peace of mind,  as much as it is possible, that the tradesmen you decide to hire is the right one for the job.

Do your research:

Most builders/contractors these days have a website, so check it out. Do they belong to a recognised trade association - check with that association that they are indeed members and what safeguards are available from them in case of problems

Get 3 quotes:

Get three quotes - (not estimates -  as these are a rough figure) - and make sure all quotes are quoting ' like for like' as this is very important. If something is missed out at this stage it may have to be added later and that means that the quote will be misleadingly lower in price

Draw up a contract

Once you have chosen which contractor you want to do the work it is time to draw up an agreed contract. This contract should include a detailed  breakdown of what is going to happen - how much it is going to cost and when the contractor  plans to complete the job.

It should also cover such things as reviewing the progress at every stage of the project and access to toilet facilities , smoking, rubble clearance - to name but a few.

Guarantees:

Ask the contractor what guarantees are available. Competant builders will normally guarantee their work but unfortunately even good builders go out of business - so ask if an Insurance backed Guarantee is available. This guarantees your contractors guarantee.

Better still : for complete protection and at no cost to the home owner -  use a Home Improvements Guarantee which protects you from planning through to the completed project and for up to 10 years after that - with an Insurance Backed Guarantee.

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