Checking out your builder…
So… you’ve narrowed down your selection of builders, and you’d like to conduct a few final checks to check their reputation and legitimacy. It’s so important that you’ve got full confidence in your builder as you’re going to be trusting them with creating your dream space – this is big ticket stuff!
Here’s a few final check tips:
- Check they are a legitimate registered company – you should see their company registration number and VAT number on quotes and can check against these with Companies House online.
- Check they are fully insured – the builder should be able to forward you their insurance policy
- Check their website – what impression does this give you?
- Request references from previous customers – we’d recommend at least 5 so you can be sure they are not just giving you contact details of friends. We’d also recommend going to look at some of the work they have done, even if just from the outside, so you’re not just taking it as gospel over the phone. Some previous customers may allow you inside to view the work carried out too – even better! In addition to checking out the standard of their work, always ask how they found it working with their builder as well in terms of communication, unexpected costs, and timeliness.
- Google the company name and see what reviews come up. Of course, any reviews are subjective and only give the customer view point. Therefore, if the majority of the reviews are positive but there are occasional negative ones, you may want to give the builder the benefit of the doubt to hear the other view point on any negative comments! It’s not always an easy journey for the builder with certain customers, but reviews imply “the customer is always right”. Just keep an open, subjective mind with reviews.
- Do you “gel” with your builder? This is really important. It’s imperative that you feel you can trust your builder, that you feel confident they know what they are talking about, and that they understand your property visions and concerns. Open and regular communication between builder and customer is really important throughout all stages of the build.
- Finally, before you make any large payment to your builder (or any tradesmen!) for deposit or other, make a token 1p payment and get confirmation by phone that they’ve received it. Fraudulent invoicing through email hacking is rife in this industry, so no payments unless you’re confident it’s your builder’s bank account the monies are going to!