Working with your builder

Have a clear idea about what you want to achieve

Discuss the project in detail with your builder. Don’t assume that he knows what you want. If the project specification changes after work has started then agree any new costs and update the contract if there is one.

Be prepared for the unexpected

Home improvement projects are often more complex than they first appear. Plan for a small variation between the quote and the final invoice. A good rule of thumb is to budget for an additional 20-30% on top of the original quote.

Expect delays

Even well planned jobs can hit unexpected problems that couldn’t be anticipated at the start. Despite best intentions, certain tasks can sometimes take longer than originally estimated.

For jobs that involve working outdoors, bear in mind that external factors such as the weather may cause delays.

Agree on the ground rules

Your property may be occupied for days or even weeks. Talk to your tradesman about any rules you would like to be observed.

Do you expect your property to be left clean and tidy at the end of each day? Are they allowed to use the bathroom and kitchen? Avoid disagreements later on by agreeing the ground rules before you start.

Communicate well and often

Maintain an open dialogue with your builder throughout the project. Make sure that you feel well-informed and happy with each stage of the process.

If problems arise or you are unhappy about any aspect of the job, talk to your builder straight away.

Don’t forget to compliment good work along the way. Builders take pride in their work and like to feel appreciated.

Keep records

For large or complex projects, maintain a record of all correspondence and a diary of events, taking photographs as work progresses. Communicate through the MyBuilder message facility where possible so previous conversations can be referred to later on.

In the unlikely event of a dispute, concise records can help bring about a resolution much more quickly.

Completing your project

Check all work thoroughly, pointing out any issues or snags promptly and politely. Good tradesmen want customers to be happy with their work and will normally be happy to address any problems without delay.

Make sure that your tradesmen have issued all necessary paperwork such as gas and electrical certificates.

When you're completely happy with the final job, pay your tradesman promptly and don’t forget to leave feedback on MyBuilder!