Good Builder Guide- Find a tradesman.

The Good Builder Guide, helping you find help you can trust

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Tips to help you find a reliable builder
You put yourself in their hands, trust them with your home and pay them a fortune. But what can you do to make sure that you find a good builder? Ordinarily, people ask their work colleagues, friends and family if they can recommend anyone. The Good Builder Guide will help you there as other users ratings and feedback should help you find a good one.How long have you been in business?

As a general rule of thumb, do not entertain anyone that approaches you offering to do work for you.
Particularly those who arrive on your door offering to tarmac your driveway etc. The worst case scenario is that these individuals will scarper with your cash, but paying for a bad job that needs to be undone and redone can be more expensive than paying for a job that was never done. These are obviously both bad though. Do you have a business address or fixed address that you operate from?

A reputable tradesman has no need to go door to door peddling his trade. He's too busy working!
Newspaper, ads posted in shop windows, flyers through your letterbox etc. are also a reason to be cautious. Unless they have a business address on them, advertising in writing is no more reliable than door to door sales. Certainly phone them but ensure you get the physical address that they operate from because these days anyone can get a PAYG mobile under a false name. Do you have any references from previous customers?

If you can pay by Credit card you are automatically covered against fraud.
A tradesman saying his work is guaranteed is good, but is it enough? If it is the trademan's own gurarantee then you are not covered if he goes out of business. You do have consumer rights regardless though. Ask if their guarantee is insurance backed, of so you are covered in the event of them becoming bankrupt. You can't expect this of all tradesmen though. It would be unfeasible for smaller operations, Handymen etc. Is your work guranteed?
If yes, is the guarantee insurance backed?

When receiving a quote, get a quote for a fixed price in writing that includes materials.
On first contact you will probably get an estimate. A job will inevitably become bigger on closer inspection as you can't take into account suprises such as a water mains in the unlikeliest of places. If you like the estimate, then ask for a proper quote. Get several quotes from different tradesmen, but don't let the price be the deciding factor. Reputation, experience, standard of previous work and guarantees are also factors. Are you a member of any professional bodies?

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