When embarking on a renovation project, of the most daunting tasks is the one of choosing the right team to work with you. How will you know if they have the right experience and skills? Are they a trustworthy team? Will you have a good working relationship? Here are our top tips on how to find the perfect team to make your renovation project great.
Let’s be honest, finding the right construction team is not the easiest part of the new project you are embarking on. With a palpable shortage in trade’s ranks, the demand for building teams is sky-high. Finding the right construction team is a tricky proposition today.
However, finding the right team to work with you is of great importance. This will yield not only the best quality build, but will also ensure that you have a good relationship with your building team as this will, in the end, save you time, money and grief.
1. Find A Local Builder.
Engaging a building team that works locally can have great benefits. They will most probably have in-depth knowledge of local building regulations and know all the best suppliers in the area which will in turn result in a more agile project. Being local also means that they will spend more time on-site and will have some area specific knowledge that can be invaluable for your project.
2. Get Recommendations From Other Trades People.
If you have used an electrician or a plumber before, and are happy with their work, ask them if they work with a construction team on regular basis. Chances are that other providers that have worked with them in the past, have similar working styles and ethics that will potentially match your requirements.
3. Ask Your Friends.
It sounds cliché but word of mouth is a great place to start. Many construction teams or individual trades rely on word of mouth as their main means of garnering new clients. If you can have a friend recommend someone they have worked with, you will be able to gain some insight on the way that this particular provider works and gage if they will be a good fit for your project and your personal style of running a project. You might also be able to see the work they have done for your friends and see if the work they have done is up to your personal standards.
4. Try To Talk To Previous Customers.
If the construction team you are planning to engage have forged good relationships with previous clients and have delivered successful projects in the past, there is a high probability that they will be able to provide you with some contacts you can talk to. Do keep in mind that not all previous clients are necessarily keen on being contacted by potential clients but chances are that contractors with good reputations can provide some form of reference.
5. Find A Builder Online
Find a trusted builder on guild sites (Such as the Federation of Master Builders) or on a trade aggregator site such as Checkatrade. These websites have done some of the legwork for you and have a set of checks and accreditations that must be met for providers to list on their sites. If you’ve found a few contacts, take a look at their website to find out what work they cover and to see if you can look at examples of their previous work.
6. Find A Building Team Through Your Architect.
If you are working with an architect, they will probably have experience in many projects similar to yours. Depending on your particular arrangement with your architect or interior designer, they might be able to assist in your search.
7. Be Cautious Of Quotes That Are Too Good To Be True.
When something seems too good to be true, more often than not, it is. While a high price is not the same as high quality, we recommend you resist the temptation to just make your decision solely on price point. If a tender comes in significantly lower than other you have secured, you should be suspicious. Potentially, the other quotes are excessively high and the one firm with the low price is really just good value. But, more likely than not, the more economical firm is presenting you with a speculative bid just to secure the work and aims to make up for their profit by cutting corners or introducing extra charges later on. This will certainly lead to disputes down the line which will be more complicated to solve once the project is on the way.
8. Assess Your Building Team Before You Commit.
How many other projects are they working on? Do they have the workforce needed to deliver your project in time and on budget? How much experience do they have with projects such as yours? Also you might want to check if they have the right insurance, if they can sign off on gas and electrics and if they are members of any trade organisations that commits them to higher working standards.
9. Make Sure You Builder’s Estimate Is Clear And Matches Your Expectations.
- How detailed is it?
- Is it broken down?
- Is there a split between materials and labour?
- What is exactly included in the price?
- Does it cover everything you have asked for?
- Has waste been properly accounted for? Are skips and muck-away lorries included?
- Are there any elements which stand out to you?
- Is it clear whether VAT is included?
- Is there a project management fee included, or will you be running the job for yourself?
- How many site meetings are planned to keep everything communicated and up to date?
- Has allowance been made for building inspectors’ fees?
10. Get A Proper Contract In Place.
A contract should detail the extent of the work to be carried out in return for the agreed price – in addition to recording any extras as yet unagreed – is a useful point of reference in the event of any dispute. A proper contract will protect you in the event anything goes wrong and documents everything to provide both parties with peace of mind.
At Dominant Construction we are always keen to see how we can help you bring your project to life and make your renovation experience a great one. Please get in touch if you would like to chat with us about your upcoming project.