You should exercise extreme caution when selecting a building contractor, and you should thoroughly investigate them before hiring them. The potential for problems will be greatly reduced if you hire a good reputable building contractor in terms of price, efficiency, and craftsmanship.
Here, we look at some surefire tips to help you to choose the right contractor for you, whether that is an electrician, builder, or coder welder:
- Get referrals – Ask friends, family, neighbours, and relevant trade associations if they know of any reputable contractors who have done similar work in the past. Examine any written references provided and ensure that the project was completed by your contractor. A contractor who cares about his or her reputation is more likely to be available if problems arise in the future.
- Determine whether the contractor is a member of an appropriate trade association and confirm that they are a member of the association. A list of trade associations can be found at the back of your local phone book; however, not all associations are worthy of trust. Examine them as well, looking for ones that have strict joining criteria, codes of conduct, and clear complaints procedures. Some may provide contract forms and protection.
- Choose established contractors with a site you can visit. Do not be afraid to ask them how long they have been operating for and for reviews and examples of prior work. Make sure that you have as many contact details for the business as possible so that you have lots of ways of getting in touch with them. An address is pertinent for writing to them – telephone numbers and email addresses can be changed and ignored easily, leaving you with no way of being able to contact them.
- Make sure that you check out all quotations carefully. Compare like-for-like and investigate what the contractor is including in the price. Do not always assume that the cheapest option is the best option. Contractors who do not cut corners will find it difficult to compete on price with those who do take shortcuts.
- Settle on terms and conditions before the work begins – be cautious with upfront payments and make sure you understand what you are getting for any upfront payment. It may be difficult to recoup funds if things go wrong. Contractors who offer cash or VAT-free deals are often difficult to trace if something goes wrong.
- Make sure that all laws and regulations are being adhered to. Never allow your contractor to begin work without first ensuring that all necessary approvals have been obtained from the Local Authority Planning and Building Control. Also, make certain that all conditions imposed on Planning and Building Regulation approvals are met before work begins.
- Draw up contracts. This will protect both you and them in the event of something going wrong. If a contractor is hesitant to draw up or sign a contract, this may be a red flag that they are not all they say they are, and it may be worth looking for someone new.