Working With Your Trusted Tradesman

In an ideal world it would be great to think that your Trade Professional would be able to carry out your home improvements without any intervention from you. However we don't live in an ideal world, and by the pure nature of home improvement projects the home owner will always and should always be involved to a greater or lesser extent.

The HomePro team has put together some guidelines for you the home owner on how to can get the most out of your Tradesman when taking on a renovation project.

Professional Help Planning Your Project Such As An Architect Or Surveyor

To some degree this depends on the size of the job you have in mind.

Unless the work is of a very minor nature some statutory approvals such as planning or building regulation approval will be required. The development control department at your local council offices will be able to help on this. They will also advise on whether or not grants are available. You can then begin to assess the need to appoint a professional such as an architect or surveyor to carry out design or if you are going direct a builder.

If the house is still under any scheme such as NHBC Buildmark you must inform the company providing the warranty.

Your mortgage and insurer should also be advised of the work. You should inform neighbour's and you must be sure of your land boundaries, any rights of way particularly close to boundaries and if any rights of light from neighboring property have been acquired. Your builder cannot help here and if this is found out after the agreement is signed and work is prevented you could be liable for delay costs.

If in any doubt seek professional advice, it could be cost be very cost effective.

Background Information - Read the Feedback Left - Ask For References and Portfolios

If you are choosing a big building company ask for their annual turnover figure, as a general guide the turnover should be at least four to five times the budgeted figure for your work. Smaller businesses will not give you this information so be sure to ask for current references, certainly not older than six months. If possible obtain a reference from a professional who will be able to give more of an objective opinion. You should visit at least one of their sites where they are currently doing a job for someone else.

Even if you just drive past you will be able to get an idea of the organisation. You can of course find a vetted contractor through our service Find A Professional Tradesman which is located at the top right corner of every page.

The Lowest Price Is Not Always Best!

The range of prices should not be excessive 10-15% maximum between top and bottom. Be suspicious of one very low price.

Write back to contractors thanking them, it is helpful to let them know what the lowest price was, but do not get drawn into any offers of reduction, the contractor may be tempted to look for ways of getting back the shortfall through claims of missing information. There is more on quotes and estimates here

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