Things to Check Before Hiring a Builder


Check if you need planning permission or approval
You may have to get planning permission before you have work done on your home. You may need either of both of the following:

building regulations approval – this may be needed for work such as replacing windows or doors

planning permission – this may be needed for work building an addition to or modifying your home such as an extension or loft conversion.

Most competent builders will consult with you on this and advise you the best way to move forward. If you are recommended to avoid this because “nobody will ever find out” you should move on to another contractor, as this is usually a sign of bigger problems to come.

Find a good builder

Whilst I don’t want to sound biased, we are very good at what we do, and you’ve already found us…. There are more places you can find builders such as Google, Which’s TrustedTraders or via Facebook.

Get multiple quotes

It’s important you get multiple quotes for your own peace of mind. You should always remember that cheaper is not always best. I’ve seen many jobs that have gone with the cheapest quote, only for the job to be messed up, with repairs costing twice the original quote.

Check the builder is insured

Check your builder has public liability insurance ensuring any damage to your home, themselves or your family is covered whilst they are working at your property – whilst unlikely, it’s important to check.

Check their references

Any decent builder will have no problems showing you photos and references from previous jobs, if they get defensive, it’s a sign they probably have something to hide.

Discuss Money up Front

Whilst it may be an uncomfortable topic, you should always discuss money and payments up front. Here are some examples:

  • How much is expected to be paid up front?
  • Are there any payments to be made half way through the job?
  • Who pays for materials, and when?
  • Is your contractor VAT Registered? Is VAT Included?
  • How long after completion is final payment due?
  • If there are any disputes, how should they be handled?

These are basic questions and things to look out for when considering which builder to choose to complete your job, but they account for 95% of headaches customers deal with – ensuring you follow this list before choosing, you’ll near enough guarantee your project will be completed without any issue – neither for you nor for the builder.