In an ideal world, you would hire a Chelmsford builder recommended by a friend, relative, neighbour or work colleague, and generally you will avoid problems. However, this isn’t always possible. If you’re not sure of the questions to ask in order to get the right person for the job, print this out…
We understand that putting your home in the hands of a Chelmsford builder takes trust. To build a profile of potential contractors to carry out work on your house, when gathering quotes, ask these 5 questions to identify the best builder for your specific job.
#1. How long have you been in business?
This is the first question to reel off as it will quickly help you to spot the difference between the amateurs and the highly experienced. A bonafide Chelmsford builder will be able to demonstrate how many years they’ve ‘been in the game’ by providing you with records or paperwork, such as contracts or bank statements.
#2. Do you operate from a fixed address?
Your ‘unscrupulous builder’ senses should be tingling if a potential builder does not operate from a fixed address. It’s usually a sign that they don’t want to be found – we’ll leave you to judge why that might be.
#3. Do you provide a written estimate and quotation?
Fees do catch out most homeowners, so it’s essential that you ask this question. Never, under any circumstances, accept a verbal assurance that it will cost ‘around £15,000.’ It’s important to know the difference between an estimate and a quotation. An estimate is a ‘ball park’ sum and the amount is not binding.
A quotation is an agreement with your Chelmsford builder to carry out the work required for a stated sum, provided that you have established the exact nature of the work that needs doing.
After seeing an estimate, you might want to adjust a few things to save money. The final quotation should be a detailed document specifying everything that will be done and should include items such as:
- A date of completion
- Security and safety
- Catering and toilet arrangements
- Rubbish disposal
- Water and power supplies
- Hours of work
This list is just an example and yours will undoubtedly include more items. To ensure you’re fully covered, you can ask for a signed written contract. There’s a standard one available via the Federation of Master Builders’ website (www.fmb.org.uk).
#4. Can you provide references for your work?
Any Chelmsford builder worth their salt should be able to brandish a portfolio of work with accompanying references. Reputable builders will have no problem putting you in touch with past and present customers.
#5. Do you have insurance cover & do you offer a guarantee of your work?
By law, your Chelmsford builder must have both public and employer’s liability insurance and you’re within your rights to ask to see certificates. It’s a good sign if a builder offers a guarantee for their work. However, you can pay for a 10-year warranty yourself to cover building work, but it does mean you have to bear the brunt of insurance costs.
Ready to hire a Chelmsford builder?
Check out our FAQs section on our website for answers to questions featured in this blog and more. Then give us a call on 01245 422226 for a no obligation, building quotation