Construction, Extensions, Home Improvement, Maintenance, Plumbing & Heating, Renovations, Roofing

Finding Building Contractors You Can Rely On

Have you ever been the victim of a cowboy contractor, or otherwise regretting your choice after hiring someone? It’s not uncommon. After all, how are you supposed to know until you work with them? Hopefully next time you will have some idea, because we have a few potential answers to that question.

Compare quotes

Perhaps the number one piece of advice we can give you is to never settle on the first price you hear. There is really nothing to lose by shopping around and asking a few similar firms for price estimates. Although a low estimate doesn’t mean everything, you can judge the best value once you do a little more research into them.

Find personal recommendations

It is one thing to read reviews online, but even from independent sources you can’t be sure how they originated. If you know someone who can vouch for a builder or other tradesperson, ideally after a similar project to your own, you should trust them.

Look locally first

Although you may be able to come to a good agreement with someone who doesn’t live in your area, it’s probably going to be less costly for both parties if the contractor doesn’t have to travel far. They will probably be travelling to and from your property at least once a day for the duration of the project, so this clearly adds up.

Check their qualifications and experience

Obviously professional people in any trade will need certain qualifications to confirm they can work on your property safely, especially with gas or electricity supply work. Check these and make sure they have at least a few years’ experience when it’s a major job. It’s likely that someone who’s never worked on a project like yours before will end up costing you more, even if they don’t plan to deliberately.

Agree a timescale

It’s not advisable to work with only a rough estimate for any project. If it seems too complex to predict, that means you simply haven’t planned in enough detail yet. It’s important to have a start date and completion date pencilled in.

Have it all in writing

Of course, agreements are meaningless if they’re only verbal in this situation. The only way to really ensure you’re going to get what you pay for one way or the other is to have a professionally written contract covering every aspect of your agreement. If the contractor really plans to deliver, they shouldn’t have any problem agreeing to reasonable terms.

Extensions, Renovations

How Gain A Whole Extra Room In Your House

Are you feeling trapped in your house because of lack of space? Don’t worry, for there are many creative ways in which you could add more space to your existing home. One of our favourite options, and the first one we’re going to look at in detail, would be a loft conversion.

A loft conversion is in fact an ideal solution for you if you are looking out to expand the living area in your home. Conversion of attic space is an affordable way to expand one’s living area in the home and offer great tranquil getaways from the atmosphere of a busy or cluttered family home. If you want to have an office in your home, for example, a loft conversion can be a great way to transform a space that isn’t currently used into something professional and functional.

“There are different types of loft conversions, and so you need to first identify the type of project that would suit your needs,” said John Steele, lead designer , a loft conversion and extension company in London. You might have to sacrifice some space in your existing home, for example to fit in an additional staircase and link up your rooms logically, as well as potentially having lower ceilings in places. You will also need to consider the pitch of your roof, since a steep slope will give you more space in the centre of your new room but you might struggle to fit in everything you need with steeply sloped walls. Continue Reading

Extensions, Money Saving Tips, Renovations

How to Save Money When Doing Work On Your Property

Whether it’s the installation of a swimming pool to add value to an investment, or simply extending a couple of rooms to make space or a growing family, every homeowner will face a point when they wish to work on their property. Soon after, one realises that the process can be arduous and expensive, due to the usually large scope and long list of details that need sorting; what’s the best way to keep your renovation within budget?

Get talking

Start off by consulting friends or acquaintances with prior experience. If you don’t know any, try a local discussion forum on the Internet. What was the sort of work they did, and who did they hire? Ask also for any tips or tricks they might have. Their work doesn’t necessarily have to be the same sort you wish to do; you can gain useful insights such as the trustworthiness of the tradespeople, whether or not a type of material might be in shortage, and how best to ask for a quote. Continue Reading