HOW TO FIND A GOOD BUILDER
If you’re planning a renovation, be prepared to wait for a good builder, says Brian Berry, chief exec of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). ‘Contact a builder at least four months before the project is due to begin,’ he says. ‘Good tradesmen are in short supply; be wary of anyone who can start work tomorrow!’
Here are his tips:
• Check references – Brian says most clients fail to ask for them or to see examples of previous projects. Ask former clients about standards, timekeeping, reliability and attitude.
• Agree terms – No reputable builder will ask for the full cost upfront. Use a written contract and agree a plan of a deposit and staged payments.
• Check insurance – Fewer than one in 10 builders say clients request to see vital insurance policies such as public liability or employer’s liability, but all reputable contractors should come with these as standard. • Keep talking – Make sure you and your builder can communicate easily. Most problems are down to poor communication between builder and client but can be solved over a chat and cup of tea.