We have collated what we think should be the top things to think about when you are looking for and booking a contractor.  The list could easily be extended but these are the core things that will hopefully add value to your decision:

1.  Experience

Not all projects are straightforward and have particular technical elements in them that will need an experienced team on board to do. Make sure you are getting the right team that you know are experienced enough to complete all elements.

2.  Proven track record

Having proof of past work is extremely important.  A direct recommendation or a good amount of research should ensure that the contractor that you choose is legitimate.

3.  Capacity

Have they got the ability to get the job done in the time they have mapped out?  Being able to mobilise a team of tradespeople efficiently is necessary when getting a project completed in time.

4. References

Can the contractor provide you with names and addresses of past clients for you to talk to and visit.  We do this as standard however we also try and ensure that a client can visit an ‘active’ site so that they know what to expect.  From this you can really get a feel for standards and how the contractor works.

Being able to mobilise a team of tradespeople efficiently is necessary when getting a project completed in time.

5. Open door policy

‏‏‏So many contractors hide behind emails and may not have a fixed office.  Being able to visit a contractors office can really help concrete things for a client.  On top of this, having an open line of communication beyond email is absolutely essential.

6. Personality

‏‏‏Is this contractor the type of person you think you can work with.  Unfortunately the building industry seems to be tarnished with a pre conceived idea of what type of people work within it.  You should not settle for average. Every contractor has a big responsibility taking on a project in another home and it should done with the upmost respect.  Think of the processes involved to get it there. A lot of time passes between start and finish and you need to know that you will be able to build a good working relationship with the people in charge of doing this.

7. Trust

‏‏‏This moves on to the essential subject of trust.  Can you trust the contractor? Following all of the above should give you a good sense of whether this is the case or not.

This moves on to the essential subject of trust.  Can you trust the contractor? Following all of the above should give you a good sense of whether this is the case or not.

8.  Impact on living arrangements

Will you be able to remain in your home or will it make more sense to move out during the project?  It is important to ask these questions at the beginning as this can impact you either way. Most people we work with make the decision to move out even before asking the question.  It is important to be realistic about how it would work and factor this in.

9. Payment structure

‏‏‏Make sure you find out how the contractor structures payments.  Do they offer you a payment plan? Do they require a deposit? How do they manage the communication of changes in jobs?  We always set a payment plan, taking a deposit to hold your date followed by payments structured in a way so that neither party is over-exposed.  Any job changes are put on software with a client portal so that they can keep up to date with their budget.

10. Are you reassured and still excited about your project?

After going through all of the above, are do you feel comfortable handing the keys over to the contractor.  Are you still excited about your project or are the stress levels higher than ever. It is so important that you remember this is your home and your dream so take some time and ensure you choose somebody that is right for you beyond the price on a quote.

Happy contractor hunting to you all!

Don’t forget to use resources from The Federation of Master Builders website fmb.org.uk to supplement your decision making and also their list of vetted Master Builders may also come in handy.

Remember as always we are here to help if your require. You can email us to info@olive-umber.co.uk and we will be happy to help!