Archive for November, 2011

How To Choose A Reputable Builder In South Wales

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Finding A Reliable And Reputable Builder in Bridgend, Cardiff And South Wales

We all hear stories like the plumber that charged an elderly man £2,880 an hour and the family that scammed pensioners out of £1million – it can be nightmare to find a trustworthy and reputable builder when you need building work done at your home.

In fact, Brits fork out over a staggering £737 million to rectify botched jobs by cowboy builders each year, so it is crucial to choose your builder with care. Around 6.2 million (13%) of people in the UK have fallen foul of cowboy builders in the past five years, according to research from Sainsbury’s home insurance, and have had to fork out nearly £3.7bn to rectify botched buildng jobs during this time. Analysis shows plumbers have caused the most damage, with 1.4m homeowners suffering from their poor quality work since 2006. Most homes are now having new extensions built as well as loft conversions, landscaping work and garage conversions constructed rather than move home.

Reputable Builders South Wales

Reputable Builders South Wales

Of those of us that have fallen victim to a cowboy bulder, an average £2,077 was paid for the work they carried out. On top of this amount homeowners had to pay nearly £600 to either repair the damage or complete the unfinished job. While over 150,000 people are estimated to have paid over £5000 to rectify a botched job. Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance comments: “We’re concerned that so many homeowners have to rectify poor workmanship carried out by builders they’ve employed in good faith to work in their homes“.

It’s completely unacceptable that building remedial costs are exceeding £700 million. Of course the burden isn’t just financial; there can be a great deal of personal stress attached to these difficult situations including the clean up and often confrontation. On the other side of the coin, there are people who deliberately appoint builders with the intention of never paying for the excellent work they carry out, which then causes huge problems, very often leading towards the builders reputation being tarnished.

Cost over quality
Coming from a family of reputable building and construction porfessionals, I’m aware that the dodgy guys often undercut reasonable quotes in order to secure the work. Yet accepting suspiciously low quotes can be the start of costly mistakes, that sees quality sacrificed in favour of saving money and homeowners being faced with footing an even higher bill to put botched building works right. Ok, we may well blow our own trumpet and claim that Derwood Homes and Developments are excellent repuatable builders, but like everyone else we can make mistakes, but the main thing to look out for is a builder who is keen to please their customers and even admit and rectify any silly mistakes they may make without trying to charge you for doing so.

Tyte addes: “In these challenging economic times, it’s understandable that people want to cut back on costs but where work to the home is concerned it’s just not worth the risk. It’s simply false economy, especially if you’ve invalidated your home insurance by not taking due care. It’s imperative you hire a quality builder, and make sure that the work is done properly.”

Sainsbury’s home insurance warns that in extreme cases, if a homeowner is proven not to have taken reasonable care of their property, they could also risk invalidating their home insurance.

Professional Builders

Professional Builders

So how should you choose a reputable builder?

  • Spend time researching – ask for friends, family or neighbours for recommendations.
  • Follow up references – contact the names the builder gives you and ask to view the work. Happy customers should always be happy to talk and show you the building work they have had done
  • Always check for relevant qualifications and accreditations, from associations such as FMB and the NHBC
  • Always seek at least three quotes and don’t automatically opt for the cheapest. You may well regret it !
  • Get everything in writing, including a breakdown of costs and a completion date for the project.
  • Check your home insurance to ensure you are covered for the work and if a 24-hour home emergency advice service is available should things go wrong.

It is advisable to appoint a builder who has all of the skills and tradesmen within his own team of men. This will ensure that the complete project is carried out efficiently and to the same standards everyone expects. It even means that the builder is in complete control of the project and responsible for everyone working in your home.

Yes, there are nightmare builders out there, but there are also some excellent ones as well.

Looking to find a reliable and reputable builder ?