Choose well and it’ll be a dream come true; choose badly and your nightmare is about to start…
The decision to build your own house or renovate it is a big step. And finding a home builder who is trustworthy, reliable and easy to work with isn’t always easy.
So, where to start? At Combit Construction, we care about you and your build. That’s why we’ve taken the time to explain how to go about choosing a North London builder for your project:
Time spent researching your home builder is well spent. Research online, visit spec homes and showrooms, talk to family and friends who have built and/or renovated and find out who they used for their projects and how they got on. Architects and craftspeople are also a great source of information – they’re in touch with builders and can offer advice about good local builders in North London for your project.
If you are building a particular style or renovating an older home with specific heritage features, you would be wise to look for a builder who specializes in that construction niche.
Once you’ve narrowed the search down to two or three options, drill down into the detail of each builder’s experience.
How long have they been in business? What experience have they had? What specific services do they offer and specialize in? Are they financially stable?
A face-to-face meeting with a builder is often the best way to assess them for yourself: they should be presentable, ethical in their approach, have good communication skills and you must feel ‘comfortable’ around them.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! After all, this is your home and your investment, so you have the right to know as much as possible about the background of your home builder.
Ask for a list of previous customers and contact them in your own time. Ask about their experience with that builder.
3. Licenses and Warranty
In the UK, the building game isn’t tightly regulated as it is in some other countries. However, if your builder is a member of the Federation of Master Builders, you have the peace of mind that their conduct meets the standard of the FMB.
Ask about warranties. A good builder should offer a warranty on both structural and cosmetic works. Avoid builders who aren’t upfront and open about their guarantees.
We get it: building quotations can be confusing and the builder’s jargon and abbreviations aren’t always easy to understand but go through the quotation carefully and make sure you understand exactly what is and isn’t included. Discuss any questions or concerns with your builder.
Beware of builders who quote ‘ballpark figures’ or include multiple ‘provisional sums’ in their quotes – such quotes allow ‘grey’ areas around fixtures, fittings and materials which can be horribly deceptive. Remember, while the bottom line is very important, it’s not the only thing to consider when choosing your building company – you need to ensure that your builder has included as much detail as possible to minimize the risk of budget blow-outs.
A good quote will be neatly presented, clearly itemized, and list out materials and labor costs for each stage of the build.
Pay attention to how quickly the builder submits his/her quote and how willing they are to make changes to the original quote. This is a good indicator of how well future communication is likely to flow.
Are you committed to a deadline for your home project? Ask about availability of your home builder as early in the piece as possible. If your preferred builder is not able to start immediately (many builders are booked out a few months in advance) you need to weigh up the pros and cons of using another home builder – it may be unwise to compromise the quality of the build in favor of a builder who can accomplish it sooner.
If you need help with your project please, call the team at Combit Construction on 0208 457 2772. We can help you achieve that dream home with the peace of mind that only comes from using a team of qualified, experienced and specialized home builders in North London.