Are you looking to improve or maintain your home? If so, you're not alone. Last year, 45,000 people sought help from Citizens Advice for their home-related problems. Unfortunately, the UK economy loses an estimated 10 billion pounds annually due to cowboy contractors. With the shortage of professionals and higher demand for construction sites in the past 20 years, finding the right builder for your project can be a daunting task.
But don't worry! Our 13-step guide will help you find a reliable builder and avoid any potential nightmares. Jason is an experienced self-builder and former editor of Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. He recently completed renovating his 1960s house and is now managing director of Future PLC's Homes portfolio, which includes leading titles such as Ideal Homes, Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. He is also the author of The Self Build Dream and can be seen at many home renovation shows across the UK.
Whether you're planning a kitchen extension, converting a loft or tearing down internal walls, our simple search tool will help you find qualified and knowledgeable local builders in your area. It will give you an idea of who is active nearby and if you see a whiteboard of builders, it's a sign that they are proud of their work and looking for more. It's also important to familiarize yourself with how to pay a builder in advance to ensure that you have the cash flow needed to keep the project going.
Step 1:Start your search online on sites like the Federation of Master Builders (opens in a new tab).
This will give you an idea of who is available in your area.
Step 2:Checkatrade (opens in a new tab) and the Master Craftsmen's Guild (opens in a new tab) are also good places to find local builders.
Step 3:Ask people in the construction industry such as property buyers and architects if they have an accredited builder they hire.
Step 4:Make sure to do your due diligence when selecting a builder.
Check references, read reviews and ask for proof of qualifications.
Step 5:Have an open dialogue with your builder about what you want from them. Make sure they understand your expectations.
Step 6:Get everything in writing.
This includes the scope of work, timeline, payment schedule and any other details.
Step 7:Make sure that all building regulations are met. This includes obtaining any necessary permits or licenses.
Step 8:Have regular meetings with your builder to discuss progress and any issues that may arise.
Step 9: Be prepared to make changes as needed. Building projects rarely go exactly as planned.
Step 10:Make sure that all materials used are up to standard and that any subcontractors are properly vetted.
Step 11:Inspect the work regularly to ensure it meets your expectations.
Step 12: Pay your builder on time according to the agreed upon payment schedule.
Step 13:Once the project is complete, make sure to leave feedback for your builder so others can benefit from your experience.