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How do you find a builder if none of your friends will recommend the ones they have used?

(16 Posts)

Honestly! They all have gripes and grumbles about their builder (as everyone does) but none of them feels happy to recommend them. I don't know where to start! I have looked on the federation of Master Builders website in my area but how good a starting point is that?
Any advice would be great, thanks smile

brimfull Sun 19-Jul-09 20:43:11

this site is brilliant
I have used them to get decoraters and was very impressed.

ggirl - did they give you a list or did you give your info. and they contacted you? I don't really want to be contacted by lots of builders!!

brimfull Sun 19-Jul-09 20:57:01

Well you register and give the details of the job
then builders will email you offering to come and see you about the job.
you can view their details before you decide if you want to reply

I got really quick replies from 3 decoraters and all were good.

I think you only get 3 replies initially .

CMOTdibbler Sun 19-Jul-09 21:01:18

When we've needed builders, we've got them through the Trading Standards certified scheme. They've been fab, and you get a questionaire afterwards so they are all scored

brimfull Sun 19-Jul-09 21:03:32

If you live in the bournemouth area then I can recommend some builders.

No I'm not anywhere near you ggirl sad. I might try that then, it said 'we have 50 matches in your area' and I got scared lol!wink.
Does the trading standards certified scheme have a website CMOT? <oook>

LittleMissBliss Sun 19-Jul-09 21:10:50

My dp is on check a trade. All their trades men are vetted and feed back is left by their previous customers. They have a percentage, a bit like e-bay. You have to contact them though.

brimfull Sun 19-Jul-09 21:11:06

We got recommendations from the architectural technician who did our plans when we had an extension.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sun 19-Jul-09 21:18:46

like ggirl. We are currently nearing the end of a loft conversion, and used recommendations of our structural engineer who turned out to be the retired chief structural engineer at the local council building control.

But to start with we called a few builders from searching the internet and got them around for a chat, to see how well they reacted to what we wanted, what they knew about building regs, how many corners they would cut to save money (ie we did not want them to), attitudes (ie would they do it our way, or their way or the quickest/cheapest way, and to hell with what we wanted).

Then we called up the local building control and gave them some names and asked if any of those we had shortlisted were known to them, and if they were cowboys. They could not recommend a builder, but they could tell us who to avoid with a bargepole.

We found a guy who felt right, and he recommended and independent structural engineer, who we really liked and who was the above mentioned. This guy, recommended 2 builders, one of which was the one we already liked.

It was a long and drawn out process and it took us the best part of 3 months, but the outcome (so far, got a week to go) was the right one, we got a good mix of competitive pricing and good workmanship.

I hadn't thought about checking with building control Pavlov, I will do that too. Just need to get my buildings regs drawings back and then I'll get started on the search!

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sun 19-Jul-09 21:39:09

Oh and the FMB is not necessarily something to go by, according to my builder. He withdrew his membership as they endorsed a builder who was a known crook. It took the said builder actually doing a runner with lots of deposits (a known fraud case now in my area) for the FMB to kick him out even though people had complained, including other builders, so several builders withdrew membership.

Of course my builder could be talking complete s**t, but I see no reason for him to do so. He is pretty straight up in all other aspects, including honesty about needing our contract (hence the reason he majorly undercut a large reputable specialist co who had already given us a really really competitive price)

cece Sun 19-Jul-09 21:39:42

We found ours by recommendation by our architect. They haven't finished yet but so far I have been impressed with the speed and quality of their work.

Frizbe Sun 19-Jul-09 21:51:11

If you're in Derbyshire, they county council have a trusted trader bit on their websites, hths.

Thanks all. After reading all this I think I'll get in touch with my local council and see if they have approved builders. I'm also going to speak to my architect!! Thanks again.

bettyjack Mon 20-Jul-09 17:59:06


My husband has a great rep..(not just saying that) Please take a look at his website. He would be more than happy to provide references.

He has had no complaints or problems yet in his career.

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