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Employing a builder and what to ask and do

This is a general question regarding what should be reasonably expected when employing a builder.
We are about to start an extension and are at the stage of chosing a builder. We have provided detailed drawings for the builders to base quotes on. We have asked them to break the quote down in to stages so that we can see what we will be paying for.

I would like to pay for work once it has been done. I understand that payment can some times be made in stages. That the total is broken down into several parts. However, if I understand this right then if for what ever reason the builder stopped work part way through and we had paid him 2 stage payments then this sum of money may not equal the amount of work that they have done. I have read other stories where people have had to get work valued to see if what they have paid has been done. I don't want to put myself in to this position. Instead I would ike to pay for what has been done, once its done. I'm happy to pay weekly etc. Is this reasonable/understandable?
What do I need to do before employing a builder?
I am going to get a copy of public liability, check recent references and get a detailed quote. What more should I do?

No matter how much we try to forsee all pitfuls I'm sure we will still fall foul of some.
We have been ripped off in the past. Trusted people who we thought were decent. Believeing an agreed price for work would be the price we paid on completeion when it wasn't. Asking people not to do extra work until they have agreed a price with us, yet they still do extra work with out agreeing it and then adding this to final bill. They argue that the work has been done and its our responsibilty to pay. We want it to be different this time.

If anyone has any words of wisdom that would be grately received.

1 Answer from a MyBuilder Extension Builder

Best Answer

Hello there. The stage payments that you are referring to are generally classed as interim valuations/payments. These are basically as you suggest, a request for payments as works are completed. With regards to being ripped off or charged for extras, this is where the correct contract should be used in order to prevent any problems between any parties involved, and, where required, can fully regulate dispute resolution. Installments will be agreed within the contract, failure to comply with the contract will ultimately result in a breach.

When the quote is carried out, ensure that everything is broken down into individual works. Generally when i compile a detailed quote from plans, a full specification will be included noting construction methods, time scales, quality and listings of any materials which are to be used. This should be accompanied by a contract, giving you, and the builder peace of mind during the construction phase.

Ask for a background description, how much experience does the builder have with the type of work you are requesting quotes for, are they fully qualified? Do they hold the relevant qualifications to carry out and manage an extension build?

Hope this helps slightly


Dean Shooter


Answered 21st May 2013

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