The first thing you should do is to make sure the tradesman or builder is C2 registered. This is a government-supervised registry. Also, ask to see their insurance certificate and ask what warranty and guarantees they offer. If you need someone in an emergency, make sure you know what the call-out charge will be, as well as the hourly rate (and if it includes VAT). Find out if they will bring adequate spare parts and materials with them. Ask for an estimate of how long the job will take and how much it should cost. If you are planning on renovating or extending your home be sure to contact us to review your insurance cover.
Take Your Time:
Don’t make any rash choices. Take your time – any tradesperson will understand that they need to provide evidence that shows they can carry out the work to the required standard. Ask if you can see other jobs they've done in your area. If you get one quote that’s a lot lower than the others, find out why – have they understood the full scope of the job?
Write It Down:
When you decide who you would like to do the job, the next thing to do is to agree on a written work specification that details exactly what you want to have done. This should also cover who is responsible for removing any rubbish and ‘making good’ when the job is finished. Ensure that the builder has agreed to conform to any building regulations. Legally, you may be held responsible if they don’t as you are the owner of the building. If anything changes during the job, make sure you amend the written specification too.
One of the most important things you should do is to set out a clear payment schedule drawn up from the outset, so that everyone knows where they stand. As a general rule, you should only release payments for work completed. Don’t pay anything in advance unless it is for custom-built goods. You should try to include a ‘retention’ (part of the total cost) that is paid a month, for example, after everything is completed. This would give you time to uncover any small defects after the builders have left and give them an incentive to fix things quickly.