Home Improvement Contractors: Ten Tips to Find the Best
28 Oct 2019
You’re sitting in a pizza restaurant trying to do the impossible. ‘Look, Harry. It’s not you… it’s… well, it’s me. I’ve changed.’ Some awful 80’s banger is drifting from a tinny radio in the corner while the waiter wipes the table slowly beside you and tries to eavesdrop.
‘It’s not the cement sludge slowly seeping into everything I own, or even the fact I’ve spent €90,000 over my original budget. I could even look past the fact my neighbours won’t speak to me anymore due to the unbearable noise, or even the giant hole in the side of my house that gave me pneumonia. No, no – it’s not any of those things. It’s my fault, really. I think we need some space.’
It can be hard to find the ‘one’ – that person you just click with from the get go, where things just seem seamless. We’re here to help you find that special someone. That special someone who will transform your home into the dream you’ve always wanted.
When it comes to house renovations, your money and your home are the two things you don’t want to gamble with – you want the right person on the job. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of top ten tips when picking a building contractor - and where you might find the perfect one for you.
Once you have, and your dream builder has told you that attic, bathroom and kitchen extension is going to cost you a teeny bit more then you originally thought, you can always have a chat with us to see how we can help.
1. Don’t pick building contractors directly from yellow pages or directories
Picking straight from a directory can be a little like a lucky dip; you don't know what quality you are likely to get. You can find builders on the Construction Industry Federation Ireland: a register that lists certified builders in Ireland by geographical area. Picking your builder from this list also ensures the contractor will be competent and experienced, are insured, have relevant health and safety training, is technically capable among many other things.
2. Research: Interview friends, family about their previous builders
You should also put your ear to the ground and ask relatives and close friends who they would recommend.
Ask them their budget, the works they got done and how long it took and compare it to the market average. Go and see their homes for yourselves – as everyone’s opinion of ‘quality’ is different.
3. Don’t go for the first recommendation straight away
As mentioned, you should have a list of 3-4 building contractors who you want to interview. Have a list of questions at the ready and compare each one. It can be tempting to go for the second best option if your first choice can’t do it, but it is better to hold off and wait for someone who can meet all your criteria, it will be worth it in the long run.
4. Ask your potential building contractors for a list of their previous clients
Don’t be afraid to ask your potential builder who they have worked with, their credentials and examples of work.
5. Prepare a list of questions for each potential builder
As mentioned, prepare a list of questions for your shortlisted builder. Ask them about previous work they
ave done, how long it should take them and compare each candidate. You might be surprised at the difference between each one!
6. Expect questions from the contractor during the interview
Be wary of candidates that don’t ask questions. An experienced builder should be picking up on things you’ve missed, or asking questions which show their knowledge. They should ask you for scaled drawings and details of your project so they can put together a quote.
7. Be cautious of any building contractor who can start early
A very good builder may not need to advertise and they’re going to be busy, so most shouldn’t be able to start right away – sometimes you might have to wait up to six months. But if you’re prepared to wait for the right
builder, it can be worth it.
8. Always examine the quality of the
builder’s tools and equipment
Like anybody, the professionality of your
building contractor should be seen in the way he presents himself, the condition of their and tools so cast a quick eye over this too.
9. Ensure they are easy to communicate with from the outset
Communication is key, especially when it comes to a project as big as this. Try to judge how transparent and easy to talk to the builder is, as it is a key component to success throughout the works especially if you need to redo something or change anything halfway through.
10. Agree all your costs upfront
Again, a good builder should be able to see costs you’re not seeing, or tell you the real price of something. All costs should be agreed and clarified from the beginning and upfront and his fee should be fair compared to the market standard for what you’re asking.
If you do need a bit of help with any budgeting, you can chat to your local credit union about financing your project – no matter how big or small your loan query might be, we’re more than happy to chat!
Submit an Online Loan Enquiry