Hire A Builder Near Me
‘Builder’ is a term that covers a range of possible jobs within the industry, like he can undertake big structural jobs, such as home extensions, loft conversions, and full renovations. A builder is responsible for arranging and managing everything from arranging materials, submitting plans to counsels to organising tradespeople to get the project done to managing the project with perfection. Builders are responsible for running the project smoothly, and track the progress for updates.
A builder doesn’t need to be master on every tool. They make sure everything is according to the plan, like the material, communication with the team, and organizing everything. An experienced builder team also makes sure everything gets done with your budget and on the estimated team.
However, while working on the big projects, builders are required to find the issues, and communicate with you, without affecting the whole project. You always factor in extra budget and time, so that you don’t run out of it at a crucial point.
It’s good to ask the builders regarding their qualifications, which they have listed on a profile page, or other places. You can even ask for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme card.
Before hiring any local builder, make sure you check if they are registered with an official Trade Body. You can find several of those like the Chartered institute Building (CIOB) and the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in the UK. All these trade bodies have their own specific criteria required to be met to get the membership, validating the level of expertise and experience. For instance, CIOB institute checks for things, like technical qualifications, degrees, educational background, and military training, etc.
You can visit British Associations Sites or TrustMark for the full list of such trade bodies.
Gas Safe and Part P
Builders usually hire a team of specialist dealers who work as subcontractors or full-time employed workers. However, anyone who works with gas is required to be registered with Gas Safe. Similarly, those who work with electricity (working in England and Wales) are required to register with Part P. Those who are registered will have a valid ID of their membership.
Competent Person Scheme
If there’s a project that requires planning permission, an experienced local builder can better take care of it if he is registered with the competent person scheme. The simple way is to search for the Competent Persons Register to check their credibility for this scheme.
Check your builder’s insurance credentials and qualifications before you hire
Get multiple quotes: Give each building contractor the same detailed brief, this will enable you to establish an idea of how much the work will cost. The only substantial difference in the price quoted by the builder should be for the labour cost per hour.
Ask for proof of their skills: Αy reputable contractor won’t mind providing you with proof of their qualifications. Some professions such as architecture require by law that contractors are registered with the Architects Registration Board. Other contractors like builders, electricians or plumbers may have completed apprenticeships; NVQ’s or other relevant qualifications.
Check they are insured: Builders and contractors aren’t legally obliged to have Public Liability (PL) insurance but any reputable company will be insured as a matter of course. It is vital that you check your contractor has valid insurance before you hire them so that you’re covered if something happens to you or your home while work is taking place.
Check references: Check the builder’s references before you hire them and see what kinds of projects they have done in the past. Any good builder will be happy to provide contact details of past clients and may have a portfolio you can look through.
Try trade associations: While not essential, hiring a builder who is registered with a trade association like the Federation of Master Builders can be a good idea. Members of these associations have usually been vetted and work to a strict code of conduct.
Use a quantity surveyor: If you are doing a really expensive project go to a quantity surveyor beforehand to give you an independent costing for the project and you can use this to negotiate costs with builders.
Choose the right size company: When compiling a list of building companies to approach for quotes, choose one that is the appropriate size for your project. As, If you choose a large firm to build your conservatory, it’s likely they will have much bigger projects and yours might be further down their list of priorities.
Interview the contractor – Once you have a shortlisted a few local builders, interview each one to assess which tradesperson you think is best for the job.
Agree on prices: Although you should never pay the whole cost of the work upfront, agree on a rough price before work starts, with room for slight flexibility. It is likely that you may need to pay small amounts throughout the project for materials.
Set the ground rules – Establish a good relationship with the builder that you are planning to hire right from the beginning and make sure there aren’t any personality clashes. Be sure to set down expectations so that both parties know where they stand.
Report rogue traders – Finally, if you are unlucky enough to hire a rogue builder who does a bad job, make sure that you report them to the Office of Fair Trading to prevent anyone else falling victim to the same contractor.
Handling Disputes with Builders and Tradesmen
Give the tradesman a chance to fix the problem for free: Contact the builder and explain clearly what the problem is, using any contracts you drew up as evidence and referring to any relevant warranties or guarantees.
You’re best off making complaints in writing so you can keep copies as evidence of what’s been discussed and agreed. Whenever you send your tradesman a letter, make sure you ask them to reply within a certain timeframe and don’t forget to keep written notes of any telephone calls too.
Get someone to mediate: if you don’t get a response from your tradesman or they dispute your complaint, you can get a third party to mediate and attempt the resolve the situation.
In this case trade Associations such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) or the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) may offer a free dispute resolution service, so find out if your tradesman belongs to any associations.
Hire a Surveyor: You can also get an independent surveyor to assess the work and decide whether it needs amending; you will probably need to pay for this service.
Get legal advice: If mediation fails and you’re left with a sub-standard job, seek further advice on what to do next from the government-funded advice service Consumer Direct.
Take your tradesman to court: This should be your last resort since it can be expensive and you’re not guaranteed to succeed. It’s important to get legal advice before you go down this route. Consumer Director an association like Law Works can help you find a suitable legal professional.
Payment Protection Schemes: If you used a payment protection scheme such as Bondpay, you’ll normally have access to a free arbitration service.
Paying for poor workmanship
If the problem isn’t major but still requires compensation, you can try to negotiate a discount off the original cost.
Claiming back costs: If your tradesman won’t give a discount or refuses to put the work right then you can hire another tradesman to fix the problem and charge the costs to your original contractor. Be aware that claiming back costs can be difficult and you may end up going through the courts.
Chargebacks: If you paid by credit card and your project ended very badly, with dangerous results, you may be able to claim back your costs. Visa, MasterCard and Maestro also have chargeback schemes which allow you to get your money back – contact your bank about this.
If the company you hired has gone out of business then you’ll need to formally claim your money back – get legal advice on how to do this.