10. Availability & Scheduling ~ A good buiding contractor is always busy and booked months in advance. Although cancellations do occur, beware of the builder who is available immediately.
9. Education ~ A specific education in construction is a definite asset.
8. Problem Solving ~ Talk specifically with all references about the builder’s problem solving skills when unexpected situations arise. Ask them what difficulties they ran into and how they were overcome.
7. Organization ~ Ask to see samples of the builder’s paperwork and billing. It should be easy to understand and be presented clearly. Notice how a builder keeps a job organized, clocks hours, and prepares bills.
6. Experience ~ Experience is very important in the construction industry. Remember experience and age are not the same thing, some young builders have more experience than builders twice their age. The builder should have many completed projects behind them, as well as having worked with a variety of building projects and construction complexities. A big range of experience represents a strong problem solving ability.
5. References ~ Obtain a minimum of three references from your builder. Ensure one of the references is from a client with whom there were special challenges to be resolved.
4. Product & Presentation ~ Arrange to view both a high-end building project as well as a budget build done by the same builder. Although one will be of more value and better quality materials, the fit and finish should still be flawless. The builder should be patient and welcome you to examine his work. They will be happy to show off their talent and point out the details.
3. Legally Licensed ~ Because there are no legal requirements for builders in the UK, it is easy for a person to portray themselves as a builder. Checking customers recommendations would easily filter them out.
2. Properly Insured ~ Be careful! If the insurances required by the builder are not provided or paid up, the liability transfers over to the home owner.
1. Paying Builders ~ Never pay upfront for any building work. Recommended builders will never ask for payment upfront. When in doubt, get out ~ Remember – When choosing the right builder it is very important that you have a good rapport. Depending on the size of the project, this could be a long term and at times stressful relationship. So, if there is any doubt, Get Out!