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  • Richard Domenech

How To Choose a Builder or Contractor for Your Construction Project?

Are you thinking of having a home extension? No matter whether you are looking for a loft conversion or are thinking of extending your kitchen, finding the right builder in London is essential to ensuring that you can bring your vision to life whilst enjoying the highest quality of building works possible.

Home design can be a complex process, requiring the skills of professional architects and builders to ensure your property meets all building regulations. Finding the right partner for your home extension is tough, so if you are wondering how to find the right builder in London, we have put together our top eight tips to help you.

1) Understand your requirements

One of the most important steps when trying to find the right company for your building works is to understand exactly what it is that you require. Each project will be different, so having professional architect drawings is a great way to ensure you will be able to find the right building company to meet your needs.

By having this information, you will be able to understand whether your building works require a general builder or a more specialist option.

2) Shop for quotes

Once you have been able to identify your requirements, begin shopping around for options and getting quotes. If you have any friends or family who has recently had building works completed, this is always a good start as they will be able to recommend any that might be relevant.

When you have a list of options, ask them for a quotation to complete the full project and ensure that it covers everything from materials to labour. You should ensure you get this in writing as it will help to ensure that you will not face any hidden surprises. Another important tip is to avoid a ‘VAT-free’ option that might be offered as this will mean that without proof of payment, you will not have a valid contract should anything go wrong.

3) Do your research

Before choosing a quote, make sure that you conduct thorough research on each company. Do not be afraid to ask them for references; any reputable company will be willing to provide you with a list of happy customers.

It can be very easy to be fooled by various badges and trade logos, so make sure that you check out any claims that a company might make on their website. When it comes to a loft conversion or any form of home extension, you should also check out what warranty and servicing that each company offers, particularly if your London building works are involving structural changes.

When speaking with potential builders, look at how they engage and interact with you. If they seem disinterested, are slow to respond or are not making you feel confident in their service, then this should be an immediate warning sign. Focus on those companies that are taking an interest in your requests and that you feel you have a good relationship with.

4) Be clear

One of the most important steps when choosing a building partner is to be as clear and specific as possible. Providing your chosen provider with high-quality architect drawings. These will help them to understand the structural detail you are seeking, but in addition to this, you should also outline to your builder exactly what your vision is.

The clearer you are from the outset, the less likely you will be to face costly issues and disputes further down the line.

5) Understand your contract

When you have selected a builder, make sure you read through the contract carefully before signing. You should consider key things such as:

- What happens if there are unforeseen changes

- What happens if weather or other circumstances delay the project beyond the expected finish date

- The work does not meet satisfactory standards

- The materials being used

These are all important considerations, and by having this information before work begins will give you complete peace of mind that your project is being completed to the highest standards.

You should also not pay anything upfront. Although you will likely be expected to pay a deposit to cover costs or any specialist equipment, you should never have to pay the entire project costs at the outset.

6) Check their insurance

Before any work is carried out on your property, you should ensure that your builder is fully insured. Having Public Liability Insurance is essential and will ensure you are protected against any accidents that may occur to yourself or a third party. It will also ensure that any neighbouring properties are protected should an accident cause damage.

Do not be afraid to ask to see their insurance policy, it is a very common question, and a high-quality builder will be more than happy to show it off.

7) Know who your point of contact is

Depending on the scope of the project, your London building works will likely have multiple contractors operating on-site at different times. Whilst this is standard practice, you should ensure you have a project manager or regular point of contact that you can liaise with throughout to ensure any concerns are addressed.

However, whilst any builder will be happy to answer any questions or concerns, you should let them get on with the task without trying to project manage.

8) Understand who is completing the rough-in

The rough-in and finish work is a crucial final step for any building project, so it is vital that you understand if your builder will be covering this within the project, whether you will need to hire someone in or if you could do it yourself.

9) Complete a final inspection

The vast majority of disagreements occur during the final stage of building works. When choosing a builder, it is important that you understand how they will respond to a final inspection and if that is included.

To avoid any issues, communication is an essential part of the home extension process. During the final stages of your building works, rather than add more problems over time, agree with them to go through the project with the builder in one thorough inspection, ensuring you both agree on a complete list of issues that will need to be rectified before the build is completed.

Having a home extension in London?

If you are looking for a home extension, loft conversion or any form of building works, then are are here to help you. Our highly experienced team has helped to transform hundreds of properties across the city with high-quality and beautiful extensions and building work.

Our team will work with you every step of the way, from architect drawings through to building regulations and finishing touches, and we pride ourselves on our friendly service and quality workmanship. So if you are in need of a building service that you can trust, get in touch with our team today and find out how we can help you.

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