In the world we live in, with Trip Advisor helping us to choose where we go for a meal or a holiday, should we be using similar tools to help us choose a builder?
As reported by the BBC News today, with such problems being experienced by people buying new homes from major house builders, it's no surprise that when a house owner commissions a builder to build an extension, they are entering an arena where there are substantial risks.
What can house owners do to mitigate those risks?
The answer is due diligence!
Laurence Bassini is proposing to buy Bolton Wanderers Football Club and the Football League are required to check if he is a “fit and proper person”. But I hear Bolton fans saying “let’s take him quickly as we have no other alternative”, leaving themselves open to another owner who may, ultimately, not have the football club's best interests at heart. This can be similar to choosing a builder. Often builders are very busy and house owners can struggle to get several quotes. Some builders say they can't start the work for a year, leaving homeowners to have only one option available who can start fairly quickly.
The difficultly here is being bold enough to do your due diligence. Ask the builder for references, look at any reviews you can find online, and ask if you can speak to some previous clients which have had similar projects to yours built by them. However, be aware that if you do this, it might scare them off and then you will have no available builder! Pity the Bolton fans currently in this situation.
So what are your options? It’s a no-brainer - you have to do your due diligence thoroughly and make an informed choice. If you ask for references and it scares the builder off, you will have dodged a bullet; they were definitely not the right builder for your project.
If you don't want to be let down, don’t be scared of asking - it is down to you to do your due diligence.
Kingswood Design Residential Ltd