Tag Archives: reputable

How to Find Reputable Builders

BuilderIf you need to have some serious renovation work done, or are considering a new build, then you will want to bring in a building contractor. There are a huge number of builders in London, and while most are reputable, there are some that are “cowboys” or “fly by night” companies, and they are the companies that you don’t want to deal with, because they will either fail to complete the work or do shoddy work.

So, how can you make sure that you find the reputable builders in London? Well, there are a few things that you can do. Firstly, look for companies that have been around for a long time and that have lots of positive reviews – published on third party sites over a long period of time. If you can, ask for advice from friends, family or coworkers that have dealt with builders, and choose a company that they have had positive dealings with.

When you start shopping, get quotes from several companies, and ask them to itemise the quote so you know exactly what you are getting. Don’t choose the cheapest builder – choose the one that gives you a detailed quote that gives you confidence in the company.

In addition, ask for evidence that the company is insured, and ask the if they are a member of any of the builder’s trade associations – there are several different ones in the UK.

Another thing to pay close attention to is the billing agreement that the builder offers you. If a builder asks for cash in hand, this is a warning sign – not everyone who accepts cash is disreputable, but a company that offered a discount for cash could potentially be trying to get work “off the books” so they don’t need to pay tax on it.

The way that the builder handles the contract will depend on how much work there is to do. For a small job, it may be acceptable to ask for a percentage up front and the rest on completion. For other jobs that take much longer, there would likely be a percentage payment up front, then ‘milestone payments’ throughout the project as well as a final installment.

Note that with any project, things can go wrong, and you need to get in writing how the builder will handle that. There should be a limit on the amount that they can charge you for unexpected issues, and some form of agreement for what they will do if something does go very wrong. Again, this is where insurance comes in – if they hit a main water pipe while digging and flood your neighbour – you need to make sure that there’s no way the neighbour could come to you for compensation.

There are plenty of good builders out there. All you need to do is shop around, and make sure that you don’t get lured in by the companies that will do things “on the cheap”, because cheap is rarely good in this industry.