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Choosing your builder

Choosing the right builder to build your extension can make or break the project.  For many people the building work will be taking place in their home so any problems with the builder can make life very difficult.  We’ve all heard the horror stories about builders failing to turn up, poor workmanship or going over budget so here are some steps you can take to help you to try and avoid problems with builders.

  • Ask friends and neighbours who have had building work whether they would recommend their builder. 
  • Get quotes from at least 3 builders.  You will probably be surprised at the differences in cost. 
  • Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest quote – remember you usually get what you pay for!
  • Use a builder who has accreditation with the appropriate trade body.
  • Make sure your builder provides a clear breakdown of his estimate.  You can use the estimate you get from GrowYourHome to help you assess which costs seem too high or too low. 
  • Ask questions about what has been included or not included.  Don’t assume anything.  You might think something is automatically included but you could be wrong.    
  • Make sure the builder is happy with your plans and understands them.  If there are any areas that might be unclear, provide extra detail/sketches etc.
  • Find out if the builder is working on any other jobs.  If he has too much on you could find that your extension takes loner than planned.
  • Make sure your builder has included things like clearing up the site each day, making good afterwards and removing rubbish.
    Agree a payment schedule with the builder.  This is usually in stages so you pay for each element of work as it is completed.  Final payment will be due when all work is completed to your satisfaction.
  • Make sure the builder has appropriate liability insurance to work on your extension.
Builder in hard hat showing clients around a partly built house
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