Advice on choosing a builder

Importance of builder choice

If you are considering any work to your property and you require a builder you should consider this choice very carefully. As this is one of the biggest investments you are likely to make you should thoroughly check any builder out before employing their services.

You should consider the following:

  • For large projects consider employing a professional to advise you.
  • Discuss the extent of your arrangement with your professional.
  • Does it involve the preparation of plans or is site supervision part of the package?
  • If you consider your job so small you don't require a professional get advice from someone within the industry who you know and trust.
  • Always obtain quotations (at least three) and have them checked.
  • Don't automatically go for the cheapest quote.

Ask the builder these questions:

  • Where have they worked before
  • Are they happy for you to see their work?
  • How do they want to be paid: on completion or in stages?
  • Can they supply references from satisfied clients?
  • Are they happy to accept a retention clause?
  • Will they accept a penalty clause on failure to complete in time?
  • Will they agree to independent arbitration should you have any dispute?
  • Finally, reassure yourself by checking the builder's work, references and other aspects, like work habits, with previous clients.
  • Ask questions now - don't wait until it's too late!

Safe Trader Scheme 

The Safe Trader Scheme is managed by Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service and is part of the Help Direct initiative. The aims of the scheme are to help consumers find reputable traders and to offer support to local businesses.