Where to start with builders(3 Posts)
We have finally decide what we would like to do with our house and we have got three builders lined up to visit this week (after weeks of trying to get dates in the diary).
What should we be asking them? The work isn't too extensive for them - moving of kitchen, levelling of floor, removal of chimney, new patio doors installed, removal of artex etc.
We aren't getting architects plans drawn up as it isn't much of a change.
Should we write a list of jobs and ask them to quote based on that? Will their quotes include materials or do we then start sourcing things such as the internal doors and presumably they do the bricks etc. How does it all work? Should we ask to see insurance documents for example?
And with our kitchen, can we ask a company to do us a design before the room has been knocked through? Then we can get a feel for price/design and what is entailed now.
I'm sure they won't be able to start for a while but I want to start researching/visiting showrooms etc now so when the time comes, we know what to do. Help much appreciated!
Write a list of EVERYTHING you want the builder to do. This is important so all the builders quote for doing the same thing and avoids any confusion.
Anything you forget to put on the list they could charge you extra for when they come to do the work. For example, for mine I forgot to put down removing existing floor tiles before laying new floor and I had to pay extra for that because builder had assumed he would lay floor on top of old tiles.
Include on your list ("schedule of works") that all materials are included unless specified that you will supply them. They will usually supply bricks and nails and that sort of thing. You will probably want to provide things that are important for the look at your property, such as doors and flooring. So put on your list "client will supply x". Sometimes you can let your builder buy the things. I mean, I'm happy for them to get the skirting boards.
You could verbally ask the builders about insurance when they visit. But I would only bother about asking for their insurance certificate when you get back to them with a view for booking them for the job. One of the builders who quoted for me attached his insurance documents with the quote (I accidentally printed it out and it was 14 pages!).
With kitchens, I found it difficult to get people to help with a design when they couldn't visit the space. I made a design appointment with Magnet, but when I went in the shop, they just said they would come round when I was in a position to show them the room.
However, I would have thought that companies would be able to visualise how it would look once knocked through. Try some independent companies and ask them.
Some people may think it's crazy to go round the showrooms at an early stage, but it was really valuable to me. It meant that when it got to the position of making a choice, I had lots of information which allowed me to do that. Also, as you look at stuff, your ideas change.
Best of luck.
Shortlass, that is incredibly helpful, thank you! It feels in reach now but so much to do!
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