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Thomas Sanderson

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Selecting a Builder

Below is a short general guide on selecting a builder. It is not the complete guide - but it should be a fair help in your search. The points being made here are equally important in selecting a builder for any project.

Your relationship with the contractor or builder for your conservatory project or indeed any building project - both large and small is critical. You must feel comfortable with them. Try and imagine what it would be like dealing with this person if there where some difficulties. Few large building projects proceed without at least a few challenges! Will this individual be somebody you feel you could trust around your home - even if you are not around? Does he or she appear fair and trustworthy. Do not be bullied - but likewise don't bully the builder! I have known builders who don't feel comfortable with the potential customer to submit excessive quotations, as they do not in effect want the work!
 

It is especially important to remember that once work is started it will be difficult to go back on your decision without considerable inconvenience. So take your time and select well.
Also when considering a builder/contractor take a look at their previous work even if it takes extra time and inconvenience to do so. Personally I always think it’s nice to go by personal recommendation. Ask about the builder's personnel - how did they behave around the home. Did they show respect and consideration for others including the neighbours? Did they clean up at the end of each day? ASK ALL THESE QUESTIONS.
Do remember that not many building jobs go absolutely perfectly. Don't therefore expect perfect referrals all the time. Do however ask if the referee would use the contractor again. This should tell you everything you need to know.
Is the proposed builder financially responsible? A builder or contractor that does not pay his subcontractors and suppliers on time can be a serious problem. If possible ask around local trades and businesses that the builder use. If your project is particularly large (over 10,000) it is not unreasonable to ask the builder for a financial reference. Perhaps your bank could ask the builder's bank for a reference. I would suggest you only do this when you have more or less decided to employ the builder, as your bank will usually make a small charge for this.
The builder for public liability should carry insurance plus employer’s liability and builders risk where applicable. Request written verification from the builder of this with copy certificates.

The above is just a few of the things you can do. However my Top Tip remains – Ask for recommendations amongst friends, neighbours and work colleagues. Also if you spot a builder or conservatory supplier working locally stop and introduce yourself. You will have an instant impression of their level of professionalism etc.

GOOD LUCK!

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