Building your perfect extension
As with any home improvement you want a great job completed at a value-for-money price. This is ever-more so when it comes to building an extension.
To get the best finish for the work you want it’s important to make the right choices throughout the process. Your decisions will be crucial right from the off, including the company you choose to complete the installation, the materials used and the finishing touches you make.
Of course, some people will opt to keep costs down by doing some of the work themselves, but if you have any doubts about your capabilities then be sure to hire a professional. As always, getting more than one quote is highly recommended and ensures you can get a great price for the work.
How to avoid cowboy builders
The chances are the company you pick to complete your extension will be reputable and complete an excellent job. There is an element of risk though, especially with the media warnings on cowboy builders.
Of course, speaking to friends and family is a great way of getting good recommendations for builders. This also gives you a chance to see their work first-hand so you know exactly the quality to expect.
1). Get more than one quote
From company to company you’ll find varying prices because of the materials used and cost of labour. This means comparing quotes is the best way forward and Which? consumer watchdog suggest getting at least three of four different prices. Remember, all quotes should detail and explain the full process and what is covered. Never sign a contract if you’re unsure on anything.
2). Are they part of a professional body?
For construction works there’s the Federation of Master Builders, which ensures that those registered comply with working practices and business methods. Essentially you’ll know the company operate to a high standard. Of course, personal recommendations for builders outside of the FMB shouldn’t be ignored.
3). Is there an insurance backed guarantee?
This is your best way of ensuring faulty work can be fixed without costing you any extra. Guarantees will normally last several years after the construction and so long as the company is still trading you’ll be able to get them to set the error right.
4). Are payment terms reasonable?
When it comes to building an extension, you don’t want to be paying the full whack upfront. Normally companies will ask for an initial deposit and the balance to be paid upon completion. Builders operating on cash-in-hand with no VAT are best avoided as you’re not protected if something goes wrong.
5). Also be aware that a good builder…
- Won’t knock on your door saying they have spare materials or notice you have a job need doing
- Will have a busy schedule and be unlikely to commence work immediately
- Will explain the job technicalities in layman terms so you’re not confused
- Have a landline, mobile number and trading address