ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Before you set on the Builders

Updated on May 29, 2012
my new studio
my new studio | Source
Source
Source
Source

Save the stress.

Before you set on the builders.

There are so many horror stories about builders, and plumbers that I thought I’d share a few tips on how to lessen the chance of being ripped off.

First, before you even begin to look for someone, make sure that you have it clear in your mind what you think the job is. Be clear about what you are trying to achieve, whether it is a new bathroom or a garden wall. Write down what you want, make sure you include tidying up the mess, removing the rubble and clearing up the site after the job is done. I saved pounds on a large job I was planning simply by sourcing the flag-stones myself. The best quote the builder had come up with was £23.50 per metre, I managed to find a place not that far away that gave me builder’s discount of a pound a metre which brought the price down to £13.50 a metre. When you consider I need 60 metres then a saving of £10 a metre was well worth the effort.

Next find out for yourself whether you need planning permission, consult your local authority, I’ve always found them very helpful. Do not forget that in England you also need building regs as well as planning permission.

Decide on your budget, if you need a loan make sure that you can get one before you start anything else.

Get at least three quotes, you will need to ask about seven companies to come, but they seldom all turn up. Make a note, of whom you have contacted, and their answer, and when they intend to call on you.

These chaps are always nice and friendly at this stage and you think you can trust them, but don’t be fooled. Keep it friendly but business like. If they are calling you ‘pal’ and ‘mate’, they have no respect for you, be careful.

Ask, or better still demand a written quote that covers all the items on your list do not accept a ‘well it’ll cost you about two grand squire.’ Even if that sounds cheap for the work to be done. Do not forget, if it sounds too cheap then it probably is not what you want. If they will not give you the quote then ditch them, however much you may have liked them.

Wait for all your quotes ; tell them a date that their quote has to be with you for. Sit down with all the quotes and read them properly; get help if you are not sure about terminology or equipment.

Once you are happy with the quote, and you have had another word with the company, ask how they would prefer to be paid. Most will say cash, some will offer this thing about, and if you pay cash we’ll knock off the VAT.  Well that’s up to you, but if they are not charging you VAT then they are not declaring the income they have made from the work, I have asked for 10% discount if I pay cash. They are saving 25% not paying taxes, I know it’s illegal, but we all know it happens. And as we have members of our Parliament who claim expenses for having their duck ponds cleaned out, I wouldn’t worry about it, at one time I would have but not now. Paying by direct bankers draft, or BACS if you bank on line is the best way.

Do not give money up front before the work has started. That is a sure way to be ripped off. Ask when the company will want paying, it is perfectly okay to keep paying a little bit, as you go along. Tell them that you will hold back £200, or dollars whatever until after the job is finished to your satisfaction and everything is cleared up, and tidied away. They will not like it but again it is a common feature in big business to do this, except on a much larger scale.

If your builder decides that he can’t be bothered finishing the job because something more lucrative has turned up then you have some money left to pay someone else to do the job.

Be in charge, and when he says, ‘the pointing on your chimney needs doing, I could do that for an extra 200’, decline the offer and say you will think about it, it’s another con. Just stick to your original plan, because as soon as he’s on your roof, then ‘you have a couple of cracked tiles that need replacing your gutter needs attention the TV ariel is loose, all things that are difficult to verify but each one potentially going to cost more than you planned.

Good luck, follow these simple tips and you should have slightly less stress attached to setting someone on in the future.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      6 years ago from Yorkshire

      Derdriu, the voice of experience really, so many people get ripped off, and unfortunatly it is a little bit their own fault for not just making the effort. Not always of course, there are some real villains out there. If I'm doing a project I spend weeks on the preparation and even then things can go wrong.

      thanks to you for your ever welcome and useful comments.

      regards Tony

      P.S. I'm listening to Bob Dylan at the moment. have a nice day.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 

      6 years ago

      Tony, What a helpful, practical, timely, useful hub on how to have dream projects built and paid in ways satisfactory to the customer! In particular, I like how you break the project down so that planning anticipates challenges and so that ways of saving money and stress can be identified, such as through out-sourcing. Additionally, your insights and cautions can be applied to both major and minor projects.

      Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing, Derdriu

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi Phil

      thanks for your comment, I don't know of a 100% answer, but I hope my ideas will help.

      Tony

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      You've definitely got some great tips here. Getting multiple quotes is key - but also, getting references from these contractors would be a good idea. Better still, find someone you know who has hired a contractor who has had a good experience.

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire

      cheers micks, thanks for the comment

    • MickS profile image

      MickS 

      7 years ago from March, Cambridgeshire, England

      Good stuff, Tony, well written and useful.

      best

      Mick

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)