We are realistic about what we can achieve for you. Our service will guide you through the process of selecting a builder or tradesperson and with these guidance notes there is every likelihood you will find the right company or individual for a successful job / project.
- Use our service, it is there to help you.
- Provide as much information as possible - let the builders / tradespeople decide what is relevant for pricing.
- Where practical, obtain a priced quotation*. If not, as a minimum, based on a clear set of assumptions, you should obtain an estimated cost. Consider asking for a best and worst case scenario.
* Even a priced quotation will be based on a set of assumptions. Make sure the builders / tradespeople fully understands your job / project's requirements. If their understanding is different to yours, you may not get what you want for the price you want.
Small Jobs (Single Trade)
- Ideally obtain three, but we suggest a minimum of two quotes.
Building Projects (Multiple Trades)
If the project involves new build / extension to an existing building, before you seek quotes, commission a local designer to produce basic plans and elevations and consult the local planning authority.
Ideally obtain four, but we suggest a minimum of three quotes.
If the quotes are substantially different, talk to the builders about their quotes. You may need to enhance the quality of information / details made available for pricing.
Think time, cost and quality. Make sure the builders are very clear on your expectations and requirements for each.
Accepting a Quote
- DON'T AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPT THE LOWEST PRICED QUOTE. SEEK TO UNDERSTAND WHY A QUOTE IS LOWEST BEFORE ACCEPTING. Compare quotes, check for errors, omissions and differences between quotes. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you don't receive a friendly, informative response we suggest you don't use them, irrespective of their price.
Before Starting Work
- Check the builder / tradesperson's insurances are up to date. Ask to see up to date written confirmation that insurances are in place. If you have any concerns contact their insurers.
- Never pay the full amount up front. If payment is required in stages, agree how the stage payments will be calculated and time them to coincide with when the costs are incurred.
- For work involving major elements e.g. new windows and roofs, consider obtaining an insurance backed guarantee (IBG). An IBG covers the cost of defective materials / workmanship where builders or tradespeople are no longer trading e.g. due to bankruptcy, retirement or death of the principal. Roofing and window IBG's can be obtained via National Federation of Roofing Contractors or FENSA.
Small Jobs (Single Trades)
Where practical, obtain a written quote confirming the scope of works and agreed price.
Building Projects (Multiple Trades)
- Use one of the standard simple forms of building contract available. For example, the Home Owner Contracts by JCT or the Domestic / Commercial Contracts available from the FMB.
- Any work involving structural elements will require Building Regulations Approval. A competent builder will advise and assist you with this process. However, having a basic understanding of the process yourself is advisable, we recommend you look at Planning Portal for guidance.
On completion, please take a few moments to complete our Customer Review.
Members have agreed to guarantee their workmanship for at least 12 months following completion. If there are any problems during this period contact them to put it right.
You have the option to amend your Customer Review up to 12 months after the job / project is completed. This helps ensure our members remain accountable for their work once they have left site.
Please take a minute to complete the Customer Review, we will donate £5 to your local community for every fee paying job / project.
If there is a dispute and the claim is below £5,000 in England & Wales, £3,000 in Scotland or £2,000 in Northern Ireland you can go to the Small Claims Court. For larger amounts you will need to consult a Solicitor.