Whether you think about it or not, there’s a huge amount of trust that you put in your builders. They’re capable of making or breaking your project and their lack of attention can cause not only hard to your project but also your house in general.
Now, cowboy builders are few and far between – after all, you don’t last long in that business without skill – but there remains a number of good reasons to interrogate your builders before you give them total control over your project.
So, before your builder starts work, what are the five questions you should ask?
- What experience do you have?
It might feel a touch rude to open up with such a direct question, but when you’re dealing with your home, it’s vital that you establish the credentials of the team that will be working on it.
Your builder should be able to point to examples where they’ve worked on similar jobs before and should be able to provide you with references for those jobs. Furthermore, they should be fully licensed and accredited and should belong to a related trade association.
- Who is in charge of my project?
Knowing with whom the buck stops is vital when you’re managing more than one builder at a time. Somebody has to be in charge of overseeing the work and ensuring it lives up to your standards.
Your project manager will be the individual with who you speak with most often, so getting it straight who that is will serve you in good stead.
- Can we draft a schedule?
As anyone who’s worked within (or even had any contact with) the construction trade knows, things don’t always go to plan on site. Delays in materials, illnesses, unexpected complications and dozens of other issues can all conspire to put things behind schedule.
Nevertheless, failing to have a schedule isn’t advisable. By putting down on paper how long your team expect each stage on construction to take, you can better judge their efforts and, if necessary, take them to task.
- How will you protect my home?
Construction work makes a lot of mess, so how will your team work to protect your home? Ask them and find out.
If they’re working in the garden, how will they protect your landscaping? If they’re working in your kitchen, how will they protect your countertops and flooring? It’s always useful to establish these sorts of details ahead of them beginning construction.
- How often can we keep in contact?
Most of the time when you’ve got builders working in your home, you won’t be there too. We’re all busy with work and so, largely, we leave builders to their own devices. For much of the week, you might not even cross paths! It’s why establishing a regular date for connection is important.
Pick a day of the week where both you and the project lead can sit down and talk about the progress being made, any issues that have cropped up and what’s coming up next. It’ll help avoid any miscommunication issues and ease any tensions which might arise.