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A few thoughts on the UK building industry

I wouldn’t know why, but I think there is an increasing mistrust in builders in society. Although it’s not something that worries me too much, I do have a little concern. It is a fact that there are a handful of unqualified builders out there, but there also are good builders that don’t deserve this bad name at all. This brief article is intended to serve as a small guide when dealing with us builders.

References and Credentials

Paradoxically, words will never be as eloquent as facts. The best way to find out if a builder is your builder is to check their previous work. Do ask them for references. Not only will they accept you to show some of their work-pictures or otherwise-and get you in touch with previous customers, they’ll be happy to. You need to see some credentials as well. This way you make sure they have received all the necessary training too. It’s one more argument to believe that their work does not only look good, but also actually is good. We, believe it or not, like to feel the trust of the customer when we work. It means less unnecessary pressure and the communication will be more fluid, thus improving our working conditions.

Be Communicative

A good communication is paramount. Remember builders can’t get inside your brain, so you have to let them know what you want. When you don’t understand something they are doing at a given point, do not hesitate to ask them if they don’t tell you first. If they’re decent, they will use plain English with you and will avoid any obscure piece of jargon. If they don’t, just kindly ask them to translate – sometimes we don’t really do it on purpose!

Get the Ink

This actually applies to many other things in life – which doesn’t make it any less relevant. Words are too malleable when you don’t have a hard copy of them. Everything that’s vital must be put in writing – not only the budget, but also a timetable and any other thing that’s important. A contract must be drawn up, and in it everything must be crystal clear.

Money Matters

You, better than anyone else, know what your economic situation is. You have to pay what you order, so be realistic. Think that, if they gave you a bill much higher than you expected, you’d be negatively shocked. That’s a two-way road.

Stay Local

There is no point in going very far away to get a contractor. Odds are there will be a good one in your area, at least if you live in a big city. Look for builders in South West London if that’s where you need their services. This will save you not only money, but also time – which, at the end of the day, is also money anyway!

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