Thinking Of Extending Your Property? Here Are A Few Things To Consider When Choosing Your Builder
7th September 2015
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This can be achieved in two ways, either a detailed set of construction drawings and specification are prepared by your architect and submitted to the local Building Control Authority for approval against the regulations, or you can make a Building Notice, whereby you notify the Building Control office 24 hours in advance of starting work.

Either way there is a fee to pay and the building control officer will make regular inspections to check the work against the regulations or approved plans.  The building notice route will save you time and money by not having to engage the architect again, but it does run the risk that the builder doesn't install something correctly and remedial work will have to be undertaken.

One thing is for sure, if you have detailed building regulations quality plans, the prices you get back from the builders will be far more accurate and probably save you money against a 'budget' price taken from planning drawings.

So, now you are ready to contact builders in your local area.  When choosing a builder you need to look for those who are accredited with recognised industry bodies such as the National Federation of Builders, Guild of Master Craftsmen and Considerate Constructors Scheme.  Finding a builder who is local and recommended will give you piece of mind that their work will be of high quality and you can expect a good level of service.

So what should you send to the builder? 

  1. Full sets of plans, both proposed and existing, as they will need to know how the building looks now and what is going to be changed.
  2. Building regulations specification and plans if appropriate.
  3. Structural engineers details if required as part of the job.
  4. It's sometimes a good idea to send a copy of the planning permission, particularly if there are a list of conditions that can affect the build.
  5. Your own specification if you already know what sort of kitchen you want or radiators, sanitary ware, windows etc.  The more detail you give the more accurate and competitive the quotes will be.
  6. A list of what you actually want priced, most builders will be able to include all trades but if you want to do the decorating yourself you need to let them know!

Ask the builder to give you a break down of the prices, this will give you the confidence that they haven't missed anything, that they fully understand the work to be undertaken and it gives you the opportunity to compare like for like.  Most quotes should be turned around in about 3 weeks although a larger and more complicated project may take longer.

So how do you select from the quotes given? 

  1. Cheapest isn't always the best!  If one price is particularly cheap and the others are all around the same price there is probably a good reason why!
  2. What are the timescales, check the availability of the builders against your own expectations and see which fit best.
  3. Ask to speak to clients for whom they have recently worked.
  4. Go and have a look at contracts that are currently under way, does the site look neat and tidy and are the staff presentable?
  5. Service to date.  Has one particular builder already shown that they offer good customer service by arranging appointments, keeping to timescales and providing a well presented quotation?
  6. Do the payment terms suit you and are they flexible?
  7. Do they have the resources to undertake the project, particularly if it's a big job?
  8. Are they insured?  Builders with Contractors All Risk insurance will cover the cost of the works during construction.

Follow all these rules and hopefully you will have found one of the best builders in Barnstaple!  You can speak to Lodgico on: 01271 308091 for information and testimonials from their clients.

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Sarah E

Member since: 10th July 2012

I'm Sarah and I live just outside Barnstaple near Umberleigh.
I love sport especially rugby, cricket and golf and want to hear your thoughts on the site and add events and blogs on subjects that interest...

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