The best way to find a builder is to follow these simple rules.
If you get three quotes and go for the cheapest job you are very likely to hire someone who has underquoted and will cut corners to get the work.
There is a lot of competition out there and a very low price should sound alarm bells. They say if you pay peanuts you get monkeys and this is just as true with builders as with anyone else.
Our advice would be to go for the middle quote, as usually this is the most realistic one. The last thing you want is to hire someone cheaply who mess up the job and then have to try and persuade another builder to come in and pick up the pieces, which most builders are reluctant to do.
Make sure the builder has the right insurances and ask for copies of them.
Ask to speak to their previous three clients and go and visit one of their most recent jobs and see what the finish is like (if you find a builder through Bristol Builders Network then this has all been done for you :- ) .
Ask them for some pictures. Even the smallest builder will have some pictures on their phone, and these are a great indicator of the finish you can expect.
Discuss previous projects they have completed. If they haven’t built an extension before and have only undertaken smaller jobs then it would be risky to employ them.
After three or more similar projects most builders can claim to have expertise in that area, although a builder with a couple of decades of extension building experience is always preferable.
Often, smaller builders will try and do a lot of the work themselves to ensure all the money goes in their pocket. Some things like the plastering and kitchen fitting may suffer, as a lot of trade jobs are very specialist and require lots of practice to get proficient.
Ask which jobs they plan to undertake themselves and ask for images of their handiwork before agreeing to let them start work. You can always insist they use a skilled sub-contractor in areas you think they might not be highly skilled.
If the builder is available immediately, you might wonder why they don’t have work lined up. Usually, a good builder will not be available straight away as they have work from referrals coming in that keeps them booked up a few months ahead.
BBN are able to find builders at short notice as we have a large amount of quality builders on our books, so we can cover small jobs as well as much larger jobs.