Please thoroughly check any builder out before employing their services. Here are some things you should consider doing:
- 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 only 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 from 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 questions of the builder:
- Where have they worked before?
- Are they happy for you to see their work?
- What is their expertise in the particular project you intend to carry out?
- 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 give you a final completion date?
- 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 out the builder's work, references and other aspects, like work habits, with previous clients.