What to Look for in a Building Contractor

A building contractor is necessary for most exterior home-improvement works – but how do you know whether or not you’ve hired the right one?

Unless you are skilled and qualified building contractor – or have significant DIY experience in the relevant field – any domestic construction project on or in a UK home is going to require some degree of professional expertise. And that means hiring a building contractor to come round and help plan, manage and oversee a team of labourers to get the work done to the specification you have in mind.

So how do you find the right building contractor for you? What are the building contractor skills? Here are some top tips on what to look out for on the current UK construction market:

Essential Building Contractor Skills

Most trained and experienced builders should be able to…

  • Conduct an overview of your property, room or local area to see if your original plans and ideas are viable.
  • Carry out a safety and risk assessment to ensure the project can be completed according to industry health and safety standards and the relevant British Building Regulations.
  • Provide all of their own tools and equipment to complete the specified job, and be able to contract additional manual labour should the need arise for extra hands and/or if the project falls behind schedule.
  • Obtain building materials at wholesale prices to help reduce costs and get you the best deal.
  • Liaise with project managers, architects and/or interior designers and any other contractors you have hired to help realise and finish your construction project.
  • Hold public liability builder’s insurance to protect you against any unfinished work (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances).
  • Offer a competitive price plan to help you budget beforehand, and offer a guarantee or warranty of anything from five to twenty-five years for any finished construction work.
  • Agree to a specified time frame before work begins, helping you to plan your life and the project according to your needs!

How to Find a Good Builder / Building Companies UK

Now you know what to look for in a builder, what’s the best way to go about hiring one? Here are some of the best ways to find reputable builders in your local area:

  • Ask friends and relatives if they can point you in the direction of a local builder or other recommended builders they might have used in the past and who they trust to do a good job.
  • Get in touch with a builder’s association and/or some kind of governing body to put you in touch with a builder who specialises in the area you require construction work, such as the Construction Industry Council and the Bricklayer’s Association.
  • Be up front about what you want out of your construction project to avoid wasting anyone’s time, making sure the contractor you’re speaking to is willing and able to carry out the work at hand.
  • Finally, make sure you check your chosen contractor’s references and portfolio before signing any kind of contract. So long as you read the small print and watch out for cowboy builders, choosing a builder can be a lot easier than you might think.