The Federation of Master Builders

Working with Your Builder

Client with builder discussing projectCongratulations! You’ve found a builder to help you make your dream project a reality. Since the building firm you have chosen will be spending a lot of time working in your home you need to make sure you maintain a good working relationship with them.

Follow our top tips for working with your builder to make the project run as smoothly as possible:

Get a contract

Make sure everything is agreed in writing beforehand. Make sure it includes everything you would like done, including supply of materials, safe removal and disposal of waste, snagging and ‘making good’ after all the work is finished.

Talk about money

Set a payment schedule for instalments to be paid as parts of the project are completed. Never hand over large sums of money up front.

Set some ground rules

Make sure you agree start and finish times with your builder as well as which facilities in your home they can use.

Tidy up

Clear away everything from the site where building will take place and ensure children and pets stay away while the build is in progress.

Let your neighbours know

Building work can be disruptive to your neighbours so make sure you let them know exactly what’s going to be happening, how long you think the work will last and if the builders might need to gain access their property for any reason. If your neighbours don’t want your builders on their property make sure you let your builder know so they can make alternative arrangements.

Keep talking

Consumer and builderMost problems occur when there is breakdown in communication. Depending on your project you may want to have a regular sit-down meeting with your builder or you may find a more informal chat over a cup of tea every few days is sufficient. Make sure you’re fully aware of how everything is going so if any issues arise, they can be dealt with quickly. It’s OK to change your mind about certain aspects but make sure you communicate the changes to your builder as soon as you can and get an amended quote before you confirm you’d like to go ahead.

Make sure you’re happy

When you're satisfied that the contract has been completed in full, including making good and removing all waste and rubble, then settle the balance of monies owed promptly.

Spread the word!

A good builder is like the holy grail but don’t keep them to yourself! Be sure to let friends, family and colleagues know about your builder when they’re looking for one. Not only will they thank you for it but the builder will too! If they’re an FMB member you can write them a testimonial. 

Stay up to date with consumer news

For regular consumer updates from FMB, sign-up here with your email address.