Whether you are getting a new extension, renovating your home or building a new home, choosing a building company is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make.

A build can be a lengthy and stressful project, so having someone that you trust is key. Today we’re sharing our top 10 things to look for when choosing a builder.

Do your research

This can be the most overwhelming part of choosing a builder. You will need to do your research to find what builders are available in your area. A simple google search for builders in Dublin is a good place to start, but from there you should look at their portfolios and recommendations or reviews from previous clients. Find out if they are insured, as this is essential.

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Look for recommendations

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find the right builder for your project. Recommendations from friends or family can often lead you to someone trustworthy and capable. Don’t be afraid to arrange meetings with potential builders to see if it’s a good fit. Feeling comfortable with your builder is a must.

Focus on quality

A building project, whether it’s a small extension or a large new build home, is a huge undertaking. Your home needs to be safe and comfortable. Quality workmanship and materials are key, so ask potential building contractors to tour their previous work, check references and ask about structural materials used. High quality materials are essential from the foundations right through to the finish.

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Don’t rush into it

Have all of your ducks in a row before you approach potential builders for a price. Have a set of drawings completed firstly and a list of exactly what you’ll need. Have an engineer complete structural calculations beforehand. The more specific, the better.

Do you need a general builder or a specialist builder?

Depending on your project, you might need to determine what kind of building contractor you hire. A good general builder should be capable of doing all works and hiring the right subcontractors to complete the project. However, if you have a unique set of requirements such as a listed building, looking for someone more specialised might be for the best.

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The cheapest is not always the best

When choosing a builder, it can be tempting to go with the cheapest quote. However, this is only worthwhile if you’ve done your homework and have received references and can rest assured that the builder is using quality materials and will not turn around and add several thousands to the bill for “unforeseen costs”. If this is going to be your ‘forever home’, then it’s worth the investment.

Use one main contractor

A good general builder will have a team of subcontractors such as plumbers, electricians, plasterers and more. They will manage this team and the schedule of works, which will take a lot of pressure off of you.

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Find out who you’ll be dealing with

Some bigger construction companies will have a number of builders who manage projects. The initial person you contact may not be the person who ends up actually working on your build, so find out who this will be and ensure you feel comfortable with them. You will be in contact with them regularly and it’s important to have someone you can come to with questions.

Get a comprehensive quote

A good builder will provide a comprehensive quote for all works to be completed. When choosing a builder, find out what, if anything, the quote does not include, such as certain fixtures. You’ll want to factor this in to your overall budget.

Obtain a building contract

A reputable builder will provide you with a contract which clearly defines the scope of works, costs and payment schedule. Having a contract is a good way to avoid conflict, and indeed to set out a way to deal with conflict if it arises.

Clancon are one of Dublin’s leading building companies, and we would be delighted to discuss your build project with you. We’re happy to supply references and meet with you to discuss your exact requirements. Contact us today to find out more, and check out our Facebook page for our latest projects.