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help-finding a builder what questions should i ask

(14 Posts)
fairygirl Tue 06-Apr-04 13:04:52

We are looking to have our loft converted and need to find a builder. How do we choose what builder to use and what questions should I ask. for example I know to ask if they have insurance, but don't know what insurance they should have. We don't know anybody who has had their lofts done so we can't use their builders. I've got two people round on Thursday so any help would be great. thanks

kiwisbird Tue 06-Apr-04 13:08:09

ask for references to phone or to view projects they have completed. for such a big job they should be happy to do so.
Also make sure they wear the right size jeans and belt

Codswallop Tue 06-Apr-04 13:08:39

LOl tgought this read "butler" !!

thought pph was back!

hewlettsdaughter Tue 06-Apr-04 13:37:31

Hi fairygirl, we have just had an extension done - my mum gave me a book about dealing with builders which I didn't really use, but I'm sure it will tell you what questions to ask. Hang on, I'll go and look for it...

jmg1 Tue 06-Apr-04 13:44:51

Message withdrawn at user request

hewlettsdaughter Tue 06-Apr-04 13:50:16

Ok, book is called "Getting the builders in" by Paul J Grimaldi. In chapter 4 it talks about selecting and hiring the right professionals:
"Recommendation is the best source of a suitable professional; otherwise consult the appropriate professional body. If you are simply selecting from a list it would be wise to ask for a couple of references and a sample drawing. Check, with referees, that:
- there were few queries about the drawings from either Planning or Building Control officers
- the contractors, when they carried out the work, could easily understand what was required
- there were few alterations or changes made as a result of details not being shown on the drawings
- there were no serious arguments between client, architect and contractor
- there were few extra costs due to changes made by the architect once work had started.
Sample drawings should be neat and easy to read. They should be fully dimensional with necessary elevations, copious notes detailing materials to be used and large scale views and sections to show intricate details.
It is essential to know what any professional will and will not be responsible for - and liable for if something goes wrong..."
It goes on. Not sure how much of it is appropriate for a loft conversion but if you think the book would be useful, I could put it in the post for you. I don't need it and it was probably going to a charity shop anyway.

MeanBean Tue 06-Apr-04 14:32:49

Fairygirl, I had a loft conversion done last year by the best builder in the known universe. Where d'you live, because if it's in the South East, then I could give you his number. I second everything everyone else has said - particularly the bit about getting to see a finished job and a job in progress. (The latter is quite important because building work is a bit like childbirth - people forget afterwards what a nightmare it was at the time.)

fairygirl Tue 06-Apr-04 20:13:40

Thank you everyone for all your advice
Hewlettsdaughter - I would love to have a look at that book thats really kind of you if you can let me know postage costs i can send it on to you. thanks

meanbean - I'm from Brentwood Essex if you think they cover my area I would love their name and number thanks

hewlettsdaughter Wed 07-Apr-04 12:08:16

Fairygirl, I have sent you a message via "contact another talker" - if you let me know your address I'll send the book to you.

hewlettsdaughter Wed 07-Apr-04 12:31:24

Message failed, but hopefully you should be able to contact me? No need to reimburse for book, shouldn't cost much to send.

hewlettsdaughter Thu 15-Apr-04 21:34:35

Fairygirl - if you still want the book let me know.

goosey Thu 15-Apr-04 21:43:22

I would try to get them to agree in writing to a fixed price for the job with a bonus to be paid if it is completed by a certain date.

Maghen4951 Fri 26-Feb-16 21:03:54

Good evening all. I was wondering if anyone in the South West London area (Richmond) would know of a good architect, that would be able to do a great job and also challenge local council to get planning approved. I live in a very small cottage and we are limited to what we can do. Our loft is so small we have been told we would not be able to extend. If you know of anyone you have dealt with and you feel happy to recommend, would be most grateful. Many thanks in advance.

Maghen4951 Fri 26-Feb-16 21:06:04

In addition to the above message, we are also looking to extend the kitchen and 2nd bedroom. Once again thank you in advance.

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