A Good old Fashioned Keep Calm message
Local Builders | Find a local Builder | 6 Steps to Success
Tradesman4u has a network of local and recommended Builders
If you are looking for a recommended local builder, then in order to avoid contracting a cowboy you need to head to the internet to choose a tradesman with impartial reviews.
chances of finding a quality tradesperson and minimise the risk of poor workmanship. The internet allows everyone to be reviewed and gives consumers the ability to publicly rate the work any particular tradesman has carried out.
Our 6 steps to success for choosing and instructing a local builder or tradesperson are:-
1. Set a realistic budget and do some research on the nature of your project. For example checking if you need planning or change of use etc. If so, ensure they are factored into your budget. TOP TIP – Remember to be realistic with your budget also if you want a quality job doing. A shoestring budget may result in disappointment and sometimes its better to wait.
2. Once you have a budget and confirmation that you are in a position to proceed with a job you should post your job for free on our website. When posting your job be as thorough as possible in your job description to ensure the process starts as smoothly as it can.
3. Look to obtain the appropriate number of tenders/quotes for the job you are looking at doing. If you are looking at a reasonably small project then around 3 quotes is usually sufficient. If it’s a particularly large job then perhaps you may look towards 5 quotes. Remember that after 3 or 4 quotes it is unlikely you are going to shave much off the prices as you should have a good ballpark figure for what the job is. If after 3 or 4 quotes none are within budget then its realistic to think it’s probable your budget forecast was insufficient in the first place rather than keep trying to get the job done for less money. TOP TIP Remember the chances are there is always someone out there who will appear to offer you a ‘great’ price but ask yourself if you’ve set a budget of £10,000 and had 4 quotes with prices of £15,000, £15,900, £14,700 and £9,500 then its likely your budget is wrong and the quality of the work may not be what you want. Often the cheapest price can be the most expensive! Ensure also you know the situation with regards VAT on the quote.
4. Once you have spoken to the builders you have received quotes from start to filter them down. Don’t simply go off price (whilst important, a decision on your tradesman should never be based solely on price), read feedback left from our other community members to get a feel for how others have found them, check their professional qualification or that they are members of a relevant trade associations. If appropriate ask to see examples of previous work, many Builders have portfolio pictures along with testimonials on work they have completed in the past. Use your gut feeling too, someone may have been reasonable on price but if you didn’t get the right feel or rapport with them then maybe they are not the right tradesman for you. TOP TIP Use a combination of price, punctuality, ratings, experience and tummy feel to choose the contractor thats best for you.
5. Once you have selected a builder based on the above criteria, it is courteous to let the unsuccessful builders know that you have placed the order elsewhere. If you are uncomfortable in making a telephone call to them then a quick email, voicemail or even text is sufficient. Afterall the tradespeople have taken time to provide you with advice and quotations it is only courtesy to at least let them know they haven’t been successful. TOP TIP It is easier in the long run to let any unsuccessful tenders know about it as chances are they will at some poit look to chase up the quote they have given to you and this will prevent any waisted time or unwanted phonecalls.
6. Once you have everything in writing and you are happy to proceed ensure that timescales, payments schedules and possibly even contracts have all been agreed and signed off. Most builders will be able to discuss with you things such as JCT contracts and even third party payment protectors for both customer and builder benefit. Some builders may ask for payment in advance for materials, others may not and therefore the discussion and sign off process is very important. TOP TIP It is very important to protect your money and we advise as much due diligence as possible before handing over any funds but also remember that it is equally important to any reputable builder that payment terms are clear and the funds are in place to cover the full value of the contract. There are many examples of cowboy builders but there are also many examples of cowboy customers so keep everything clear and transparent in order to prevent any misunderstandings.
If you follow these steps when commissioning a local builder you should generally have a very happy experience and minimise the risk to yourself of any shoddy workmanship. If you’ve followed these steps, and have agreed an incremental payment process also then the risk to both tradesman and customer will be massively reduced.
Get connected with our network of local builders now for free.
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