Q: I want some work done on my house, but my biggest challenge has been finding a reliable builder to come round and quote the job; several have simply not turned up. What is your advice for finding an efficient, quality builder who won’t waste my time?
A: Finding a reliable builder is probably the most important part of the design and build process. Your architect can produce the best scheme in the world, but if your builder isn’t up to scratch it can be a very painful process. Not turning up to quote for a job is completely unprofessional. It means that they are either bad at managing their time, or are too preoccupied with other projects to dedicate time to you. Ask friends and family and any of your neighbours who have had work done recently if they can recommend someone. Having a builder who is local and familiar with the type of home you are living in is a good start. You can even ask at the local builders’ merchants for a recommendation.
Also, having an architect on board can help to find a reliable builder. Your architect will have worked with many local companies and can approach them on your behalf. Once you have recommendations, make sure you do your background research. Visit some of the builders’ previous projects and speak to the owners about what the team was like. Reputation is everything in the building industry and you’ll soon be able to work out which builders are trustworthy, reliable and can do a good job.
There is one very important thing I always say about construction: the lowest price isn’t always the best choice. You want value for money from a builder you can trust, which might not necessarily be the cheapest.