DIY home projects might seem like a good option for those handy with a hammer, but the rest of us need to find a good builder in a reliable way. Home repairs can cost a ton of money not only to have installed, but to repair if things go awry. If you take the time to do your research and hire the right builder from the get-go, you will end up thanking yourself in the end. Make use of these tips from KST Building Services Ltd, a company of builders in London.
Make Sure to Use Reliable Resources in Your Search
No matter which avenue you stroll down when hunting for a competent builder, you are ultimately going to have to rely on your own intuition to make the decision.
By conducting thorough research via reliable sources, you will be arming yourself with more knowledge. You can, of course, search the internet and scour through reviews, but remember these may be altered or doctored in a number of ways, or even left out completely.
Rather than searching consumer-based hiring platforms online, it is wiser to visit the Federation of Master Builders site to make sure you are hiring the most qualified workers possible.
Talking with friends or acquaintances is a great way to get information. They will speak freely and candidly with you and rather than just seeing the outcome of the contractor’s physical labor, you will also gain the little tidbits of how they conduct their business as a whole.
Chatting with locals who have had experiences with the outfit in question before you will give you a no-nonsense, inside track on whether you should give them another look.
An oft-overlooked resource is to check with local building inspectors to see what they have to say about the builder under scrutiny. These people have an excellent amount of updated exposure and knowledge to who’s doing the best work, likely at what cost.
Another place to seek insight is from other contractors in the area. These crews commonly cross each other’s paths while on job sites, so if a company is being consistently recommended by other craftsmen or even competing businesses, you generally know you have a winner.
When checking out a builder, be sure to ask for references and make sure to follow up and get the lowdown from prior clients.
Ask about a builder’s experience and qualifications as well, and if the mood strikes you, try to throw some well thought out questions in there that they might not expect, then check for a ‘stall factor’ upon response.
Things to Look For
If you see a contracting crew at a job site, cruise by and pay attention to the condition of their tools, trucks, and uniforms. Also peek around to see how dirty or clean they keep their site while working. They should appear professional at all times, and well organized.
Find out whether the builder hires out to subcontractors or does all the work themselves. This way, you’ll have the benefit of being able to check the other crews out first if necessary.
Use a contractor that agrees to a fair price upfront. Make sure to get as detailed of a quote as possible, and if need be come to terms on payment for completion of project phases, depending on how big it is. A competent builder will have insurance to cover them should something goes horribly wrong.
It Is Important to Find Out How They Carry on While on the Job
When looking for your builder, investigate not only their finished work, but also some of the more peripheral items.
Things such as the amount of time they quoted for a project and the actual completion time, how professional they were, if they showed up to work every day in a timely fashion, how they handled any unseen snags, respect shown towards the neighbors, and overall cleanup when done.
Nobody wants to hire someone that does a great job but then leaves your cul-de-sac partners inflamed.
Before You Get Yourself in Too Deep, Check These Details
Ask your contractor for specific drawings or blueprints so you know exactly what to expect when it’s all said and done. Sometimes we get ideas in our heads mid-project, and when things get messed up it’s usually due to deviating from the original plan. Don’t get caught in the trap.
Ask an inspector to verify that any plans meet building codes prior to any actual groundwork. It’s much harder to undo everything and restart.
And lastly, be sure to fully understand every bit of the contract being signed, or even draw one up with the contractor so that you can both go over it bit by bit and agree on every detail. A final payment should be withheld until the work is complete and any issues have been ironed over.
Even if you are brand new at hiring out work to contractors, never fear. You can protect yourself by researching and talking with those you know to make certain you’ll be receiving the best business possible. Be sure to use your brain and get creative with your resources, and you’ll be enjoying your new deck or pool in no time.