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Which builder should we go with?

(3 Posts)
Mum2Pea Wed 15-May-13 09:52:00

We have just bought our dream house which needs a total renovation including extension at the back, conversion of garage, new wiring, new plumbing, new plastering etc.

We have had 6 builders quote and checked out their work. We how have it narrowed down to 2.

We plan to move over the summer hols and my daughter will start year 1 in a new school in sept. My husband’s idea is, if we can move at the start of the holidays, she can get to know some local children over the hols - the house backs onto the school we ideally want her to get into and so the change in sept wont upset her as much. DD knows she is changing schools and so far is fine with it

Builder 1
Late 50s/60s, established and has many projects we have seen
Quote at £43k, not including decoration (specifically because we were not happy with his previously and would rather get a ‘proper’ painter/decorator in. This will cost approx 2k and take a further 2 weeks
He can start work next weds and will complete the work by 31st July.
Due to decoration, we would only move in Mid august.
We know him and have used him before for my dad’s renovation.
His work is good but not perfect, but we know what to look out for
We asked for small extras while he carried out my dads and he was happy to do without fuss or charge.
We pointed out his mistakes from my dads house (that we realised with time) and he has confirmed they will not happy again
He does have other projects on and has been slower at giving quotes/feedback but we know he worked to the timeframe given for my dad’s project so is reliable.
We know he is trustworthy and never gave issues with payments o the last project and didn’t charge extras.

Builder 2
Quite young and seems like he is trying to make a name for himself
DH saw his current project and it is the biggest house he has ever seen and is a very affluent area – so we are assuming someone with a lot of money is trusting him
Quote at £47k, does include decoration
He can start immediately and will complete all the work by 31st July
We would be able to move in 1st August.
He is recommended by our architect (who has messed up our plans as he didn’t know the regulations! – so we are worried about whether his contacts would also be ‘unreliable’)
His work is good but not perfect, when my DH went to check his previous work, he saw some bits were not good enough and the tiler was doing a major no-no by not laying tiles the ‘recommended’ way (my husband works in the tile business so was very upset by this! 
He says he would not charge for small extras.
He doesn’t seem to have other projects on and has been very good with contact.

So who do we go for?
1.DH is very concerned that we are losing 2 weeks of living in time and how this will affect DD in making friends and settling into a new school. Is he right to be worried?
2.Builder 1 is busy and is not perfect (our budget doest stretch to perfect) so is it better the devil you know or should we give the newbie a chance?

Phew!! So, what would you do?

TerrysNo2 Wed 15-May-13 10:40:46

Personally, with such a big spend I would go with tried and tested, all the other bits don't matter in the long term but having a builder who can't do the jobs that you have asked can be a big cost.

Why don't you see if you can get a decorator in at the same time as the builder, after he has finished each room?

Mum2Pea Wed 15-May-13 11:53:25

Thanks Terry
yes, i also considered getting the decorator in to start on rooms that the builder has completed but apparently the electrician for 2nd fix (whatever that means!) comes really late according to DH so this might not be practical :-(

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