Plan Ahead - When embarking on a building project, it is important to plan ahead. A good builder will rarely be able to start immediately. They are in high demand and you will often have to wait for a couple of months. If your builder can start tomorrow you have to ask yourself why? In some cases there may be a genuine reason – i.e he may have just finished a large project – and you were in the right place at the right time!
Obtain Estimates - Obtain at least two written quotes from a local building company, preferably those that have been referred to you by friends, colleagues or family.
References - Ask each builder for two references from previous customers. Contact these people and find out how happy they were with the work that was carried. Was the builder always on site and punctual? If possible go and view some of the work.
Contract - You should have a written contract with your builder. It should outline the work to be done, start date, agreed payment schedule. If a builder is unhappy to sign a contract – ask yourself why? Perhaps you need to rethink your decision.
Insurance – Check that your builder has the appropriate public liability insurance. Ask to see the certificate. Ask for design suggestions - A good builder can also act as a design consultant. Look out for good suggestions when they come round to quote. Are they pointing out things you hadn't thought of? Are they advising you on the best use of lighting and space? Are they being pro-active and looking to improve your home as much as possible or do the bare minimum and get out of there as fast as possible. Sympathetic, design-focused builders can add literally thousands onto the value of your home.
Trust your instincts - Above all, trust your instincts. You are going to have a very personal relationship with your builder during the course of your project and it is imperative that you have a good working relationship. Does he have your best interests at heart? Is he happy to take the time to listen to your concerns and talk through your design ideas? Does he explain things clearly?
A building project will always be stressful at times but is also very exciting; choose someone who will share your enthusiasm and develop your project as if it were their own.
Still got questions?
If you have any specific questions about building projects in the Tonbridge, Sevenoaks or Tunbridge Wells area of Kent, please get in touch with QR Construction and we will do our best to help.