Everybody loves a bargain but appointing a builder based purely on a low quote can land you in hot water and end up costing you more in the long run.

Chris Thurston knows this all too well, after contracting a builder to make improvements to his home.

“We had contracted a builder friend of a friend to undertake the removal of a structural wall on the basis that they were willing to do it at a low cost,” he says. “However, it very soon became apparent how poor a choice this was.”

“It became evident very early on that the builder we had brought in either did not have the knowledge or the skills to complete the job in line with what was required, and this was on a piece of the house that was holding up the floor above.”

With a family of two small children and a heavily pregnant wife, Thurston was becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of work and safety of his home. He turned to the FMB’s Find a Builder search directory to find “a local reputation builder who I could call for a second opinion” and selected Master Builder Liam McGinley of McGinley’s Carpentry and Construction Ltd.

“On first speaking to Liam about the predicament that I found myself in, it was clear he took pride in what he did but that it also bothered him, as it did me, that another builder was giving his trade a bad name,” explains Thurston.

“Liam dropped everything to come over that evening and check the integrity of the property based on my concerns.”

After inspecting the work McGinley’s main priority was to ensure the family was safe.

“I went off to fetch some props, came back and propped it so that it was safe. I then told the client we could resolve this situation or he could contact another builder. I told him I’d leave the props until the alteration had been done properly and the home was safe. I wasn't going to charge him for the props – I just wanted to make sure the family was safe,” says McGinley.

It became apparent that the original builder also did not have insurance and he was asked to leave site. A few days later, Thurston reached out to McGinley again to ask him to quote for the work.  

“Liam provided a very fair and comprehensive quote incorporating contingencies and making clear any areas where there could be issues and was extremely open and honest throughout the works. Due to our vulnerable position Liam very kindly reshuffled his diary to ensure that the works were undertaken very swiftly in order to make the property safe for our family,” says Thurston.

“A cheap quote should not be what determines who does your work. It is worth paying a little bit more for the peace of mind that a professional and thorough builder offers.

“I hate to think what may have occurred further down the line if we hadn’t pulled the plug on the original builder when we did.”

McGinley’s Carpentry and Construction Ltd has been an FMB member since 2013. Based in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, the company covers surrounding areas and offers a range of services from a complete design and build package to individual trades for smaller projects and bespoke furniture. To help clients understand what steps are involved in building projects, the company has developed a ‘Guide to Planning Your Project’, which is proving popular with clients. Visit the company’s Find a Builder profile for more information.