Building or Extending a home is quite possibly the most exciting and rewarding venture a person can undertake. However, if you instruct a building company with less than honourable scruples it can, sadly, also become a very painful and expensive experience! Let’s face it, most of us have heard the horror stories about clients being left in the lurch with half-finished and even dangerous projects, the television industry has spent hours of film reel on them. In my mind these types of builders are simply ‘handymen’ parading in builders clothing… or, for a better term, WOLVES in sheep’s clothing! These bandits are a little better qualified at getting the job done than your regular Joe (obviously not referring to our Joe at Bishop Ltd!), who may have decided to put up a shelf on a Sunday afternoon. They are not like the many hardworking honest tradesmen out there who take pride in their work and aim to provide the best service possible.
Beware, these wolves create so much misery and chaos in their wake that it has tarnished the reputation of the building trade as a whole. How many times have you heard the phrase ‘do you know of a good builder? He must be trustworthy!’ Why should a client have to question whether a builder is trustworthy? Should it not be the case anyway? People are scared of approaching new building companies, this can’t, and shouldn’t be right. Let’s face it, the reality is, one person is passing their hard-earnt money (sometimes life savings) into the hands of an unknown person in the HOPE they will fulfil their promise! Yes, that is scary. The service provider should appreciate they have a duty to their client and do all they can in order to fulfil that duty.
So, what should you do to best protect yourself?
The most obvious answer would be to ask family and friends for recommendations. But remember what has worked for them may not necessarily fit with you. It’s always wise to get at least two or three different quotes before making your selection, and don’t be fooled into basing your final decision on price alone – it could cost you a lot more in the long run. Be informed! Ask your prospective builder questions, LOTS of them. Any good builder will be happy to spend time explaining how he will approach and deliver your project. Request to see examples of past works, check out their website – testimonials are always a good place to start, make sure you get a written quote showing what is, and what is not, included in the price and, very importantly, their payment terms. An unscrupulous builder would not want to entertain any of this!
Be wise, it will take a very long time to make all that money back if you mistakenly pick the cheaper ‘wolf’ over the slightly more expensive but highly qualified and experienced honest tradesman!
Beware, be informed and be wise!
Bishop Ltd – Construction Services