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Whether you are building a new home from scratch, carrying out renovation work or having a new extension built, you are going to need to find a builder to carry out the work. But just where do you find the best builders for your project?
How to find a builder
Finding a builder is easy; finding the perfect one for your needs and your project is another story entirely. You should look for a construction company that is licensed, carries the necessary insurance, has experience with the work you need done, can complete the job affordably, and gets along well with you.
With the help of this handy guide, you will learn everything from where to look for a builder or tradesperson to how to negotiate fair payment conditions and acquire accurate estimates.
How do you know if a builder is reliable?
A trustworthy builder will be eager to provide references and examples of their previous work. Don’t be afraid to inquire about seeing their finished projects and talking to their satisfied customers. It’s reasonable to question their motives if they refuse. It’s a good idea to inquire about their experience working with the builders by contacting previous clients while checking out completed projects.
- Did they have regular, straightforward, and cordial communication?
- When did they arrive?
- Have they been true to their word?
- Was there transparency and early warning about delays and unforeseen issues?
- Were they able to complete the project on schedule and within the allotted budget?
- Did they try to keep things as quiet as possible?
- How well did they handle the other trades when necessary?
- Can you tell whether they maintained a clean site?
It goes without saying that you need to find a contractor with relevant experience; after all, a kitchen remodel or bathroom remodelling are not the same as an office renovation. An additional requirement for any competent builder is a solid understanding of the most recent codes.
Do I need a contract with my builder?
A written contract with your builder ensures that all parties are on the same page from the start to the finish of the project. Together, you and your builder may rest easy knowing that any potential points of contention have been addressed in the contract.
The Tiger Building provides members with simple, jargon-free contract templates, so there’s no need to hire an attorney to draw up your contract. Such agreements are reasonable, simple, and flexible enough to be tailored to your specific needs. The following are elements that should be present in every solid construction contract:
- Provided below are the names and contact information for all parties involved in this deal.
- A brief description of the tasks at hand.
- Reference materials of utmost importance (the agreed quote, your specification, schedule of works, plans and drawings, and planning permission requirements).
- A breakdown of who is in charge of what in terms of the construction project.
- Specifics on how to comply with mandates from the likes of the planning office, building inspectors, party wall agreements, and the likes of service suppliers.
- Infrastructure, parking, and safety measures at the site.
- All the specifics of the agreed-upon cost, including any surcharges or other fees that may apply.
- Moments of inception and expiration.
- Conditional payments and periods of detention. In the case of an overrun, many contracts additionally specify a rate of “liquidated damages” that each party agrees to in advance. In the event that the project runs over budget, this is the amount the homeowner can expect to lose (such as rent if they have had to move out, for example).
- Guarantees and warranties that have already been agreed upon.
- Specifics about who and what is covered by insurance.
- Boundaries are set up.
- Specifics on how project updates will be recorded and how disagreements will be settled.
- Additional factors, such as financial distress, delays caused by bad weather, etc.
- Consistently high quality of work is anticipated. A solid contract will specify that all work must be completed to the agreed upon quality level. The materials and intended finishes are examples of such specifications. You should also specify in your contract who is accountable for fixing any defects and how they will be fixed.
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