If you are not sure if your job too small to require a professional, always ask us first. We will tell you honestly what building regulations apply and what the pitfalls might be.
Always obtain at least three written quotations and and don't automatically go for the cheapest quote. Lack of quality and attention to detail in some cheaper quotes may cost you more by the end of your project.
Get the following information about your builder:
- Where have they worked before are they happy for you to see their work?
- What training / qualifications do they hold?
- How long have they been in business?
- What is their expertise in the particular project you intend to carry out ?
- How do they want to be paid, on completion or in stages?
- What references from satisfied clients can be supplied (preferably from similar works)?
- Will they give a final completion date?
- Will they accept a penalty clause on failure to complete in time?
- In the event of a dispute will they agree to independent arbitration?
- Are they able to manage the whole process including the commissioning of an architect and obtaining planning permission from start to finish? (Even if you have already appointed your architect, the answer to this question may reveal contacts and experience).
- Does their quotation include an allowance for problems and on what value of problem encountered might they need to revise their quotation?
Reassure yourself by checking out the builder's previous work, references and other aspects, like work habits, with previous clients and remember to ask these questions before engaging the builder rather than after.
A good builder will probably belong to a trade body and will have comprehensive liability insurance.
You may also find the following guide by Federation of Master Builders useful:
Choosing the right Builder