Thursday, 25 February 2016

How do I choose a builder who's right for me? | Art of Clean

You need some building work carried out but getting over that first hurdle of where to start with finding a good reliable builder seems like a massive job in itself! Read our handy blog for tips and information on where to find one and when you have one, how to keep them.

How do I find a good builder?

You require a builder who will conduct themselves appropriately and produce an exceptional standard of work. We want you to receive good value for your money and are here to help you protect your home, and pocket. To help you in your search for the perfect builder, we have prepared a simple checklist for you to follow:

1 Always start your search for a good builder with getting referrals from family or friends who have had some work done.  Keep your referrals as recent as possible.  Ask the builder questions, don't worry they'll be expecting you to ask something.  Find out how long they have been trading and what sort of experience they have to carry out the work you need completing.

Trade associations are a good place to start

2 there are many trade associations out there so don't be fooled by the badge.  Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 it states that it is an offence for a company or individual to falsely claim affiliations or connections, including those to trade associations.  We've all seen it on TV where bogus builders fraudulently claim membership of official trade associations.  So the thing for you to do is give the association a call to make sure they a fully paid up member.

3 Once you have your referrals and references - go and check with them and see some of the previous work.  Contact the people who provided the references and find out how happy they were with the quality of the workmanship and the builder’s conduct.

Ask family and friends for a referral

4 You've made a shortlist of builders and now obtain quotations - get full details in writing of what is covered and what is not. If they don't give you a handwritten quote, then you shouldn't consider them. Your quote should include site maintenance, clearance, material supplies etc. Ask for confirmation as to whether planning permission is required and if they will need to apply for Building Regulations approval.

5 Avoid a ‘VAT-free’ deal - you will not have a valid contract if there is no proof of payment.

6 Document the details of the job down in writing - the more thorough, the better. Your contract should outline what work is to be done, start/completion dates, security, safety, the cost of the work and materials, payment plans, catering and lavatory arrangements, hours of work, cleaning up and the disposal of waste materials.

7 Always be clear about money - remember you are both strangers with each other and no-one likes discussing money but it's good to have clear payment terms in writing.

8 Don't pay upfront or a cash deposit - it should not be needed unless you request specialist building materials or the job is likely to take a long time to complete.

9 Guarantees – are they offering a guarantee on a large scale job? If it is a new build you will need a guarantee on the property.

10 Insurance  - Make sure with the builder they have the correct insurance – the insurance should cover to protect themselves against property damage and personal and public liability and to protect you and the general public in the event of accident or injury.

Art of Clean
 is a specialist cleaning firm in: 

Working for domestic or commercial clients throughout Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Hertfordshire.

For more information on our services contact our friendly team on 01223 863632 or email us at