Our tips to help you find the best builder for your job

The building firm you choose will be spending several weeks, or even months, working in your home. You need to be confident both in their ability to do the work, and that you will have a good working relationship with them.

Remember, the better you plan, the smoother the whole process will be.

  • Ask friends and family to recommend building firms who have done work for them.
  • Search for professional builders in your area on the FMB web site www.fmb.org.uk
  • Produce a detailed written specification of the work you want done. Where possible, include detailed drawings, such as those submitted for planning and Building Regulations approval. Make enough copies to send a full set to each builder you ask to quote for the work.
  • Ask at least three builders to provide quotes.
  • Ask the builder for references from previous customers and follow them up.
  • Make sure the builders' quotes cover everything you would like done, including supply of materials, removal of rubbish and 'making good' after the work is finished.
  • Don’t choose your builder on price alone. Consider the references and how well you got on with the builder when they visited.
  • Set yourself a budget and build in some contingency funding- 15 percent of the total job is about right.
  • Ask for details of how the builder should be paid. This should be in instalments, as parts of the project are completed. Agree a stage payment plan to suite you and your builder.
  • Check whether any guarantee of the work will be supplied. If you use an FMB MasterBond builder you can purchase a 10-year insurance-backed warranty on the work.

Make sure the builder has the appropriate level of public liability insurance for the work to be carried out at your home.