Begin by asking every person you have ever known; family, friends, colleagues, if they have had building work done in their houses and, if so, who they used and how did they get on. Was the relationship difficult? Was the timekeeping good? Was the quality of work good? Was the supervision of employees good? Did they show respect? Did they feel intimidated in any way? Was any guarantee given on the work?
It is so much better to use a builder who is known to you, even via a third party, than to grab someone out of a local paper or off the Internet.
Then contact your local Trading Standards Office to ask if the builder has ever been investigated by them.
A trawl of the internet can bring up all kinds of information. Use it wisely to carry out your own ‘due diligence’ on your chosen Builder BEFORE you sign the contract.
A contract is a MUST! Make sure you are offered a contract that is clean, clear and concise and protects you, your home, family and money from potential mistreatment.
Be aware that –
Reputable builders do not knock on peoples doors touting for work. However, they DO make contact with you if they are working in your street and want to encourage you to speak directly with them if you have any queries at that time.
The best builders are always busy. If a builder says he can start tomorrow, the chances are he has no other work to do.
Professional builders have a professional set-up. They may work from home but they will not be frightened to give you their landline number and personal home address.
Well-established builders will prefer payment directly by bank transfer. Always insist on a written receipt or statement for each payment made and on the Builder’s headed paper.
Respectful, decent, truthfulness and honest communication should be your Builder’s hallmark. Make sure your builder speaks to you and treats you appropriately, explaining everything to you in advance, in clear terms that you fully understand.