The safest way to choose a Building Contractor

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So, what is the safest way to pick your contractor?

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Firstly, you need to do your research and the more the better. Explore the market to find the most effective contractors suited for you and the job.

You need to think carefully about who you are going to hire, for instance, if you use a reputable building contractor for a reasonable price, good experience and is reliable, this will reduce the chances of any potential problems.

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To ensure you’re getting an excellent contractor you should look for these key attributes before you hire them.

  • Look for at least 3 or more quotes for the same contractor from different builders to ensure quotes are fair. You will be able to compare contractors from the quotes you will get to see if they are accurate, fair quotes, evaluate the prices, timescale and how much experience they have.
  • Make sure you discover if the contractor holds valid Public Liability insurance and Professional indemnity insurance. This is very important to find out as regardless of the quality and care they put into the project, there are always risks that can occur. Having the policy will cover both defence costs and any liability found owing in a claim to the indemnity, this will give you peace of mind, security and protection.
  • Remember to check their relevant qualifications are valid and in date, such as; a Bachelor’s Degree or an Associate Degree in the fields of Construction Science, Building Science, Construction Management, or equivalent fields, and a contractor license.
  • Verify their current payment methods before. The simplest way is to ask before and make sure to pay in credit cards not cash, this gives you additional protection if the work isn’t satisfactory and you may be able to claim compensation from the card company. Furthermore, don’t put down more than 10% of the project value upfront and always pay the rest of the amount when the work is completed.
  • Have good communication. You must ask precise questions to get a plan of how the overall process will work before you hire a contractor. This will help you assess their understanding of the project and help you find out if they have done similar projects like it before. And you will also be able to find out if they have a good portfolio to reference and it will uncover their current workload and timescales. This way you will know whether to use them or not and know what to expect when work starts. You could ask questions such as; What are the typical timescales for a similar project? How many hours a week will be focused on the project? Who is my main contact for the project?
  • Lastly, avoid allowances. This is something that is set up for an unknown item to be determined later. Before hiring your contractor make sure you do enough research into what materials and items you may need and understand their value. So, when you are setting out your allowance with your contractor you will know what kind of price to expect before they give you a price for the job. Be careful as there is a wide range of prices for products and materials and the contractor may estimate a higher figure but get cheaper products. Or they could estimate a lower figure to start with and then you may receive a higher bill at the end. Therefore, always find out what they are planning to use and get involved with your project.

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