Whether your project is barn conversion, new home build (self build), property restoration, (listed or otherwise), or property extension, the way you choose a contractor is most important. A good one will save you money and time while with a bad one, any number of things can go wrong. This means that knowing what to look for in a contractor is very important. Before you hire building specialists in Kent, make sure that they meet the following criteria.
1. Know what you should be looking for
If you don’t know what a good contractor is you may never find them. The first step is to educate yourself. Find out what kind of a contractor is required for your project and what they should bring to it.
2. Check for reputation in the industry
This is very important; you want to know what people who have interacted with them think of their service. Start by asking them to give you the contact details of the last 3 jobs that they worked so that you can get referrals and other details such as the architects they work with. Then talk to people who have worked with them; you can ask the people where you buy your project supplies, for example, whether they have worked with them and what they think of them professionally and personally – some personalities are hard to work with. The internet is also a rich source of information so look for reviews.
3. Experience with your particular kind of project
There are builders in Kent who specialize in just one kind of building. The fact that a company is good in barn conversion doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be good at a new modern home build. Find out how much experience they have with your particular kind of project and avoid being a guinea pig.
4. Make sure they are licensed in Kent
Construction companies in Kent are licensed to work in the area so find out if they have the relevant paperwork that allows them to work in the area. Because they will be working on different areas in your house, they will need different documentation; plumbing and electricity, for example, need different licenses.
5. Find out if they can go green
Heating and cooling is expensive and you want to reduce your bills as much as possible. Fortunately, there are technologies in the UK that have made it very cheap to heat and cool living spaces. The best building contractors in Kent have a contemporary way of thinking and are already offering these green technologies to their clients.
What to look out for
What to look out for is as important was what to look for. There are certain things that are red flags; if you notice any of the following in a contractor, don’t hire them.
- They solicit for work: there are builders in Kent who will go knocking on doors and they will try to entice you with discounts and they only accept cash. This isn’t the way proper construction companies in Kent operate and you are most likely looking at a problem rather than a solution.
- If their personal hygiene doesn’t impress you, move on. Contractor work is about precision, neatness and attention to detail. If you notice that a contractor is unkempt or he drives a car that’s falling apart, that is a warning sign that you may be dealing with an individual who has the same approach to his work.
- Look out for cheap deals. Construction is expensive, period. If someone is telling you that they can give you a cheap deal, you will pay a lot more in the long run. Get a realistic quote about how much builders are paid in Kent for the kind of project that you are doing.
Questions to ask before you hire a contractor
Many people get taken because they don’t ask their construction firm the right questions. Make a list in advance and in that list make sure to include:
- What kind of materials are you using? Might you be opting for cheap supplies so you can give me a cheaper quote? Where are you buying from and why have you selected that particular supplier?
- Have you revised your estimate? If no, please revise it and give me the new number.
- What is the physical location of your office? Where can I get you if I want to talk to you in person?
- Does your quote cover the whole job? Will you give me any surprises along the way?
- Are you and all your employees insured? With whom, and can I see a copy of your latest premiums?
- How long will you take to complete the work? Does this include cleanup time after the construction is finished?
- Have you included any permit costs in the quote?
- Lastly, what kind of warranty do you offer and for how long is it valid?
If you do all these things, it is very likely that you will end up with building firms in Kent who are qualified to do your project.