How to get the best out of your builder
This is a guide on how to get the best out of your builder. If you can’t see the video please click here.
In one of my earlier posts it could have come across that I thought all builders need to be managed with kid gloves. I wanted to point out that I’m not a builder basher and that there are just a few that let the side down!
For that reason I felt it was best to see the other side of the story from one of the good eggs.
So let me introduce you to Doug Reynolds, or as he shall be known here ‘Doug the builder’.
If you go through my phone you will find that I tend to do this so I have ‘Paul windows’, ‘John carpenter’ and ‘Brett plumber’…
Doug is based in Cambridge, but he does travel, in case you needed someone by the way! Check him out here.
Be a good client
It’s great to get his point of view, because if we want a builder to be good to us, it’s important that we are also a good client.
This post should also help you to understand what to expect from a decent builder.
1. Be honest with each other. If you want them to be straight with you, it’s important you put all your cards on the table as well.
Pay on time
2. Pay the invoices on time. Obviously you don’t need to pay everything up front, but if the work is being done, you should be keeping up with your side of the bargain. The final bill should be paid within a month after completion of the snagging list.
Communication is key
3. If there’s a problem flag it up early – this works both ways. If you haven’t said anything about an issue, you can’t then moan about it – although a decent builder will usually be on top of things.
Talk to them about anything you are unsure of on the build because you both need to know where you stand.
4. Be polite. This is a business transaction, so you don’t need to end up best friends, but it makes life easier if you’re civil to each other.
Do your due diligence
5. Make sure your builder is up to the job in hand. Always look at some of their other completed work. If they’re reluctant to show you then alarm bells should start to ring.
6. If you are having to move out of the house to rent, make sure the builder isn’t using your place as a hospital job. This is where they prioritise other projects and only send tradesmen in when they’re not needed elsewhere.
I have heard of this happening quite a lot so you don’t want to seem absent.
7. Make sure your builder is using qualified tradesmen. All professionals on the job should come with the appropriate certification.
Electrics, gas and structure/engineer works must be inspected and signed off correctly. If you don’t, the problem will show itself when you come to sell the house – if not before!
Don’t be cheap!
8. Don’t be tempted to cut corners to get a job done cheaply. At the very least it will more than likely end up costing you more to correct.
Worst case it could make your property unsafe. Any builder worth his salt won’t even entertain this option.
9. Always remember that the builder has a duty of care to you as a client. This means that it should be as much in his interest as yours to do a good job.
10. If your builder isn’t doing a good job or letting you down then sack him!
This is a builder saying this as well!
So there you have it. If you are looking for a builder now, or even in the middle of a job, this is really helpful advice to know what to expect from them.
If you’re just in the viewing stages then you might want to see my post on what to look for when viewing a property.
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How ironic as we are currently looking for a builder and architect. X
Aha! I must have known!!!
Well if only I had had this excellent information before I began the renovations on my present house! I’ve been through two building firms and lost money on the way. At last I seem to have found a building team of three who arrive early and best of all keep me fully informed!
Thanks again for invaluable advice.
Oh it’s the lack of communication that can sometimes be so frustrating isn’t it? Really sorry you have lost money, you won’t be alone, at least you have found building utopia now – if that exists!!!
You haven’t mentioned keeping them sweet with lots of cups of tea and maybe the odd cheeky chocolate biscuit every now and then 👍👍
Funny you should say that, I don’t know if you have watched the video but Doug said not too much! I agree though – on the last big job I used to get extra special treats on a Friday!
Tea and biscuits are the work of the devil haha.. Lemon cake works with a nice builders tea.. But don’t tell the team !!