How to choose the right builder

Before you appoint a builder for your home renovation or construction project it's essential that you do your research and ask the right questions.

Checklist - how to choose a builder

Here are our top tips for finding a builder who’s right for you.

  1. Ask the builder if they have experience in the work you need completing. This is particularly important for specialist building projects such as works involving older, listed properties because renovation and rebuilds will be subject to strict planning permissions and builders will need to be equipped to deal with untypical foundations and antiquated structural methods.
  2. Check that the builders you're speaking to have legitimate memberships with trade associations. It's easy for builders to paste a logo on their website to make it seem as though they've been checked, approved and accredited so it's always worth calling the trade body in question to make sure that the builder is really a member.
  3. Ask the builder for a list of client reviews and references, and do your own research online to see how customers rate them on independent sites like Checkatrade or Google reviews. You could even take it one step further and ask for permission to contact the people who provided the references and ask how happy they were with the quality of the workmanship and the builder’s conduct.
  4. Once you have a builder (or builders) in mind, ask for them to send over a detailed quotation. Request full details in writing of what is included and what isn't. This may seem like an obvious one but you are entitled to ask for specific cost breakdowns and it's essential that you check that everything you want done is included in the quote. It's easy for builders to miss certain details off at this early stage which will of course cost you extra in the long run.
  5. If you're unsure, ask the builder for confirmation as to whether planning permission is required for your home renovation and if you or they will need to apply for Building Regulations approval.
  6. Ask to see a copy of the building firm's insurance policy schedule. It's important for you to ensure that they are fully insured to carry out the works as their insurance inevitably protects you too.
  7. Ask the builders when they can start works at your property and request an expected completion date. Again, this is an obvious one but it's good to have these details in writing and it enables you to manage your situation around expected timelines.
  8. Find out who your main point of contact will be throughout the project. It's important for you to ensure that you're going to be able to communicate with the same project manager or site manager when necessary. This individual should know your job inside out and they should become your advisor throughout the project as well as the person you call if there are any problems.
  9. Ask for a tour of the building company's live and completed projects. This is something Datum Point Construction offers every new client and it adds an extra level of reassurance knowing that the builders you've chosen are transparent and proud of the projects they work on.
  10. Check to make sure that the construction company you choose will prepare and issue a detailed programme of works and a marked up phasing plan when you award them your work. This is something that Datum Point Construction does for every new client to help manage expectations regarding progress and any living disruption that should be expected.
  11. Unless the builders provide this for you, make a note of what work is to be done, start/completion dates, security, safety, the cost of the work and materials, payment plans, catering and lavatory arrangements, hours of work, cleaning up and disposal of waste materials. This is something that Datum Point Construction provides as standard in the programme of works / phasing plan.

We're here to reassure homeowners, businesses and developers that Datum Point Construction always deliver on our promises.

If you'd like to discuss your construction project get in touch with the team today.