A builder deals with the construction and maintenance of your home. Building projects are usually very stressful times and to ease some of that stress, HaMuch has put together information including questions to ask to keep your building project running efficiently and how much to budget as well as how to find the right builder for you.
When choosing a builder try to get 3 comparison quotes so you have a feel for the value of service and what level of building work is being offered at different prices. Insist on being given a ‘written quote’ to avoid disputes over payment and job expectations at the end of the project. As building work can involve scaffolding, discuss the quote to see if it has included any scaffolding hire charges and if this is something that will still need to be added on to the final bill. Another charge to consider is skip hire. If there will be demolition work taking place at your home, then hiring a skip is a good option to avoid a lot of small trips to the tip clearing away the building debris. Before making a decision on which builder to choose, ask what their payment terms are and if a big building project e.g. a house extension, can be paid in instalments in line with sections of the building work being completed. Unless you have specified for specific building materials that they don’t normally supply, you should not be asked to pay any money upfront.
If you are getting large scale building work completed, it would be wise ask to see a portfolio of similar work carried out. Try to drop in to do a site visit on a current building project so that you can see the level of organisation on site, quality of materials being used, number of builders on site. Check any associations the builder is part of e.g. The National Federation of Builders (NFB).
Lastly, check what insurances you need to have in place with your own personal building and contents insurance, check to see if you need to make your insurers aware of work being carried out. Ask the builder about their insurance and how much public liability insurance they have (there should be a certificate to show you).
Before you search for builders you need to decide how large or small is your building project will be, whether you are needing a builder for a garage conversion, lounge extension or rather a smaller scale building project like to lay a patio or carry out a repair on your roof.
If you want to maximise your property size and have enough garden space, a conservatory is a great way to achieve more indoor space. Before talking to the builder regarding a conservatory extension, have an idea of the size you would like, the shape it should be built, if there is an existing driveway or patio that needs to be demolished first, any outside drains or outside bathroom pipe that might need to become inside drains or pipes and consider a style that will suit your home e.g. Edwardian or Victorian.
For conservatories, extensions, rebuilding external walls, window repairs… any building job involving windows, you can choose from standard double glazing to upgraded window options like self-cleaning glass or toughened glass. When choosing windows uPVC work with traditional and contemporary homes while sash windows or better suited to Victorian style homes.
If your project is to do with flooring, make sure when the builder arrives there is clear access to the rooms that will need the new flooring and have an idea already whether you are wanting tile, carpet, laminate or click clack flooring. Discuss any concerns you may have about old flooring being lifted and new flooring laid e.g. if skirting boards might get damaged in the process and what can be done to salvage them as well as if you are going from laminate to plush carpet, will the internal doors still open or do the need to be skimmed to allow for height adjustment.
As building work can involve changing the layout of a house, check if your project would require any planning permission before it goes ahead. Loft conversion means you may need to purchase the loft from the freeholder if you in a leasehold and some building works may require an architect to design the space and calculate the costings or a structural engineer to ensure the safety of the project.
|Building a conservatory including foundation||£2000|
|Converting a loft into a bedroom with en-suite||£7000|
|Converting a garage into a bedroom||£4000|
|Damp protection for internal walls||£280 per wall|
|Damp protection for external walls||£300 per wall|
|Rising damp treatment||£280 per wall|
|Demolition of a garage||£1000|
|Demolition of a patio, driveway, shed, outside space||£800|
|Building concrete, tarmac, block, etc driveway||£750|
|Creating a dropped kerb||£500|
|One room extension||£2000|
|Multi room extension||£2000 per room|
|Removal of old floor and laying a new floor||£150 per room|
|Repairing floors by filling gaps, sanding, staining, sealing and securing loose floorboards||£100 per room|
|Building a retaining wall||£250|
|Pointing and brick work repair||£50 per m2|
|Chimney flue installation||£400|
|Chimney breast removal||£700|
|Flat roof repairs and replacing slipped or cracked tiles||£170 per 5x tiles|
|Upgrading old tiles or Cotswolds stone roofs||£2500 or a 2bed house|
|Chimney flashing or flashing around solar panels and roof lighting||£800|
|Window fitting and replacing||£300 for 4 windows|
|Repairs on window frames and windowpanes including leaks||£100 per window|