8 Important questions to ask a builder

Getting a qualified and reliable builder is crucial for any construction project. With the rapid growth of the construction industry, it’s no surprise to come across one or two cowboy builders. But how do you identify a suitable builder for your project? With the right questions, you can tell if determine whether you’re dealing with an experienced professional or not. Here are some of the questions you can ask your potential builder before hiring them.

  • Are you an accredited builder?
  • Do you have any experience handling similar projects?
  • Can I see your project portfolio?
  • Can you show me an ongoing project?
  • Do you have a project manager?
  • Do you have any insurance?
  • Is the price a quote or an estimate?
  • Are you up to date with the health and safety policies?
  • How soon can you start working?

Are you an accredited builder

Is your builder registered with any trade body? To avoid working with cowboy builders, you can source professional builders from trade associations. If they’re a part of any trade association, you should contact the organisation and find out if they’re an active member. These trade bodies have a strict code of practice; hence, you’ll know you’re dealing with a reliable contractor once you do due diligence and verify the membership. A good example is the Federation of Master Builders(FMB).

Do you have any experience

An experienced builder means they have adequate information on the current trends in the construction industry. Their experience levels should tell whether they have the expertise for handling a project similar to yours. If you’re having a loft conversion, you should hire a builder that specialises in conversions to avoid wasting money on something that could cost you more later on.

Can I see your project portfolio

Depending on the type of project you’re planning to undertake, your builder should have a lot to share from projects that have already been completed. This will give you a clear view of what you should expect and what your builder is capable of delivering.

Can you show me an ongoing project

If your contractor has any projects underway, this would be the best time to see firsthand how they work. You’ll know how to expect them to handle your project and how they work with their team. It’ll give you a clear view of the building process.

Do you have a project manager

A project manager oversees how the project is run from start to finish. H/She is also the communication link between the builders and the client. The presence of a project manager ensures there’s accountability, so you know there’s someone to relay your needs to the team all along. The project manager easily updates you on the project’s progress, and you can always approach them with any queries or instructions.

Do you have any insurance

Having an insured builder is necessary should anything go wrong while the project is underway. You can request to see the company’s public and employers liability insurance since it’s a legal requirement. You will get to know whether your builder is ready for anything.

Is the new build price a quote or an estimate?

Your builder should be able to elaborate on whether the price given is a quote or an estimate. If it’s a quote, then it’s binding as an undertaking to complete the job for the stated price, unlike an estimate.¬† If you’re buying a new build off-plan, you should know when and how to negotiate the new build price¬†before coming into any agreement. The quotation you get should clearly highlight the costs to be covered. Getting an estimate from various contractors will give you an idea of what you should expect to pay.

Are you up to date with the Health and Safety policies

Adherence to the building regulations and the Health and Safety requirements is necessary for any construction or renovation project. You should ensure that your builder adheres to these requirements to avoid run-ins with the local building authorities.

How soon can you start working

The availability of your builder is the other thing that matters. If you’re looking to start the construction immediately, you’d want someone available to start working right away. However, your target should be the builder that gives you realistic timelines and a clear breakdown of activities to be done within that duration.

There’s so much more you can ask to determine whether a builder is right for your project. With these questions to ask your builder before you hire them, you’ll quickly establish whether they’re the perfect fit. Building a house is a massive investment for any homeowner, and it wouldn’t be ideal to compromise that by hiring cowboy builders.

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