When choosing a builder the first thing to look for is recommendations from friends and family. If you can find someone who comes highly recommended from someone you know because of work they’ve already done then you’re on to a good thing, it is even better if they’ve hired them for a job that is similar to yours. If you can’t find a builder that comes recommended from friends or family then you’ll want to start your search by talking to several builders. Never approach the services of just one, you’ll find it much easier to spot the good builders from the bad if you speak to several people and compare them. Always ask for references from previous clients for similar jobs and ring up the references to check with them what they say about the builder. You might want to ask them if the job was completed on time, if it was completed on budget and if there were any complications during the process.
You might also want to check if the builder belongs to any trade bodies or associations and if so check if their membership is current. A membership of a body like this normally requires certain standards from the builders themselves and so can be a good indicator of someone who is likely to do your job well. Once you’ve found someone who you believe is going to do a good job you’ll need to sit down and talk about your project. Never get started on a job without first agreeing in advance the cost, the time of completion, catering arrangements, what safety and security precautions will be taken etc. The more detailed your discussions the better and the less likely there will be problems due to poor communication in future. Get everything done on paper before you begin so you have a written and signed record of your agreements. One last thing to watch out for is not to fall into the trap of going for the builder who is ready to start tomorrow. If a builder tells you he is ready to start tomorrow and sounds desperate for work he is probably not a great builder. Be prepared to wait a few weeks for a better builder to have time to do your work rather than going for the guy no-one else is prepared to hire.