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How to find a decent builder? What should I be asking?

(10 Posts)
ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Fri 22-Jul-16 13:33:24

Just that, really. We're hoping to start an extension to our house in the near future (pp through, just waiting for building regs). I've had some recommendations but want to get a good range of quotes; also want to make sure I ask the right things! Any tips greatly appreciated! And recommendations, if it so happens that you're in the East Mids!


SweetPea79 Fri 22-Jul-16 13:41:24

Word of mouth is the best way. Ask friends and neighbours. Get at least three quotes and see how they compare price and detail wise.

Avoid 'MyBuilder'/'CheckATrade' type websites, good builders don't need to scout around buying leads off the internet.

Make sure you obtain full written quotes, go through them with a fine tooth comb, look for the details, is the cost of a skip included? Don't immediately go with the cheapest or the one that can start the quickest, a good tradesman is rarely sat around waiting for you to call.

When they come round to quote, what are they like? Do they listen to what you? Make suggestions based on their experience? Can they provide references?

Also, google the hell out of the company and the directors before you start. It's always worth having some back ground knowledge (and a good facebook stalk doesn't do any harm either!)

WhatILoved Sat 23-Jul-16 15:09:41

I always use checkatrade. It's not like mybuilder etc because it's not a scouting website. It is just a website where builders get reviews and checkatrade verify them by text or phone call. Always had best results. Found local forums to be worst place as lots of fake recommendations

SweetPea79 Sat 23-Jul-16 15:23:55

I work in the industry and I wouldn't trust checkatrade.

PigletJohn Sat 23-Jul-16 17:55:02

Checkatrade employ sharp-elbowed lawyers to track down unfavourable comment on websites and bully the site owners into removing it, using vague threats.

I have experienced it myself.

Keep your eyes open....

SweetPea79 Sat 23-Jul-16 19:47:17

Radio 4 'You and Yours' questioned the integrity of the checkatrade system a few weeks ago, it's starting to become common knowledge that it's flawed.

OnePlanOnHouzz Sun 24-Jul-16 08:50:50

Ask for a quote not an estimate.
Make sure they supply a contract too.
Check that they are happy to cover CDM if you don't have an architect covering that.
Ask for a timeline of events and for a finish date that they WILL finish by. Ask if they supply their own toilet and hand wash facilities or if you are expected to supply this ( within CDM)
Ask if they will expect you to make changes ie not park on your driveway as they will need to park their trucks there etc .

ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Sun 24-Jul-16 13:21:29

Thanks so much for all these helpful tips - keep them coming! One firm we've had a recommendation for isn't a member of the FMB... What do people think?

Also - sorry but not sure what CDM is?

Peachy27 Sun 24-Jul-16 13:34:55

We actually did find our builder from my builder and he was absolutely brilliant. I am unable to fault any part of the entire process although maybe we were very lucky. We tried to go with recommendations but found people hesitant to recommend builders. Some very local people too busy to come and quote even so we used the Internet as a last resort. We did have six people over though as we were determined to get the right one but he definitely was. Finished bang on time and the whole process was pretty stress free (even with the back of the house out in the middle of winter and three small children sharing the one remaining bedroom!)

OnePlanOnHouzz Sun 24-Jul-16 17:19:05

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)

Your builder should know about this !!

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