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It’s important to choose the right builder. Many people spend more time planning a holiday than they do considering their options when it comes to building work, yet the building work may cost many times as much and involve their most prized asset – their home.

The big question facing a private consumer is ‘price versus quality’ – what’s the point in having work done cheaply if it results in shoddy workmanship using sub-standard materials? The money you ‘saved’ you may well end up spending, often along with a lot more, when you have to get another builder to put things right!

What you want is a builder who will do a quality job at a sensible price. After all, you will enjoy the quality of your building work long after you’ve forgotten how much it cost.

A good builder will:

  • probably belong to a trade body – this means the builder will conform to a code of conduct and will face the possibility of disciplinary action if that code is breached.
  • have current public liability insurance – this means that if an accident happens to a member of the public as a result of building work on your property, the resultant costs will be covered.
  • be happy to give you an estimate in writing – this means you will be able to compare estimates at your leisure and not have to rely on memory as to what is included in each price.
  • be happy to have the work agreed in writing – after all, this is as much to protect the builder as it is to protect you. Producing a building contract is now relatively easy using a JCT pre-printed contract.
  • not ask for unusual payment methods – there should be no deposit required unless you request specific materials, no part payments unless the project is going to run for a long time, and no special deal to exclude VAT.

JCT Home Repairs and Maintenance Contract

Checkatrade Kent
Having building work done at your home (.pdf)