If you guessed builder number four, you were right! Even though he was late and his organizational skills needed a bit of work, we felt he best reflected what we wanted in a builder.
Now I’ve said it before, but this is not a decision to be made lightly as this person will be responsible for the very foundations of your home. Your actual foundations, people.
But other than a natural rapport, there are other considerations you should also take into account including:
- The budget. It goes without saying that you have to be comfortable with the quoted budget and you should also allow for some contingency in that budget. Your build will change; some of the things you want will not be possible, allowing for other things you didn’t think were possible at the start! In our case, we scrapped a bathroom and instead got underfloor heating in our kitchen. Those changes will come along and you need to understand how your builder will account for everything.
- Their schedule. Odd as it sounds, you want a builder who is in demand, as it shows at the very least that there are other people as foolish as you to trust their services. A builder already working on other projects will also give you enough time to prepare for the eventual chaos associated with a major renovation. And trust me, you’re going to need that time.
- The build schedule. This is related to, but also somewhat different then when work begins, as you should be comfortable with the suggested build time and any potential delays. If you have a hard deadline that you must make, you should think carefully about whether or not your build should be scheduled for before or after that deadline. Are you having visitors? Can they live in your home as it currently is?
- References. Your builder should be able to provide you with a number of references willing to vouch for the quality of their services. This can be through conversation or through actually viewing their work. We had the chance to view some of builder number 4’s handy work as he had recently built a loft extension and it was beautifully done. We were very pleased!
What lessons have you learned? Is there anything I’ve missed you found to be critical when selecting a builder?