Questions to ask your builder
Rated People provides you with a selection of important questions you should ask your builder.
Have you done similar projects to the one I have planned?
Unless your project is particularly unique or out of the ordinary, the answer should be yes.
Could I see your references or look at some of your previous work?
Your builder should always give you references, even if it's just a phone number of a previous customer who doesn't mind you chatting to them. It may be tricky to visit old projects as this might be considered a little intrusive but your builder may well have an ongoing project or site that you can visit.
If your tradesman has ratings through Rated People, these are always a good indicator and can count as references.
When are you available to start?
If you've posted your job via the Rated People job form, you'll have probably specified a start date in which case you'll be able to sort out scheduling.
What percentage do you need as a deposit?
Although builders should never ask for the whole amount of money up front some will require a deposit for materials and labour and if you're open about this from the start and it's not something he has to bring up, the builder will really appreciate it. Make sure that the deposit you pay is never more than 25% of the full quote.
Do you mind signing a contract before work begins?
Any decent builder will not mind this at all - this is just a way for you to eke out the cowboys. In order to price up your project, he will need a copy of your building plans. Bear in mind though that there's no real point in giving the plans away to him if you know he's not going to get the work.