Choosing your builder

If you are considering any work to your property and you require a builder you should consider this choice very carefully. As this could be one of the biggest investments you are likely to make you should thoroughly check any builder out before employing their services. Here are some of the points you should consider:

  • for large projects, consider employing a professional to advise you. Addresses and contact numbers of professional organisations are provided
  • discuss the extent of any professional's responsibility - does it involve the preparation of plans only or is site supervision part of the package?
  • if your job is so small that you do not think you need the services of a professional, seek advice from someone in the industry who you know and trust
  • always obtain quotations (at least three) and have them checked
  • do not automatically go for the cheapest quote
  • ask questions of the builder:

    Where have they worked before?
    Are they happy for you to see their work?
    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?
    Can they supply references from satisfied clients?
    Are they happy to give you a retention clause?
    Will they give you a final completion date?
    Will they accept a penalty clause on failure to complete on time?
    Will they agree to independent arbitration should you have any dispute?
    Are they a member of a trade association?
    Do they have insurance?

Finally, reassure yourself by checking out the builder's work, references and other aspects, such as work habits, with previous clients. ask questions now, don't wait until it is too late be safe - be sure, don't be sorry Notice of beginning and completion of certain stages of works

It is the responsibility of the owner of the property to ensure that the Local Authority is informed at the various stages of work. If you are employing a builder make sure that you are both aware who will be making the contact with the Building Control Surveyor to arrange the visits.

A completion certificate is issued at the end of the job if the surveyor is satisfied that the works are in compliance with the Building Regulations.

The Surveyors in the Building regulations Service at Spelthorne Borough Council can be contacted on 01784-446359 where there is a 24 hour answering service.

The following organisations may be able to provide help and advice if you are considering employing a professional to help you.