Appointing a building contractor (supplementary)

Who appoints the building contractor when you extend or alter your property?

Supplementary information

If you are thinking of having some building work done on your property, you may be thinking about employing a builder to do the work.  Choosing a good quality contractor to build a new extension or to make internal alterations to your property is very important.  Everyone has heard horror stories about "cowboy builders" and the problems they can cause.

We recommend that you consider the following when deciding on a builder to carry out your work on your property:-

  • Ask the builder for references and names of previous customers, try and speak to them and look at the work if possible
  • Get written quotes from two or three different builders
  • Ask for work to be covered by an insurance-backed warranty
  • Be clear about what you want done and ask for a written specification and quotation
  • Agree any staged and final payments before work starts
  • Avoid adding to the job or changing your mind halfway through, this leads to delays and extra costs
  • Avoid dealing in cash if possible
  • Look for a trade association member*
  • If problems arise, speak to the builder straightaway:  use the trade association’s mediation and arbitration service if necessary
  • If your work is complex ensure you commission a comprehensive set of building plans and specification, this will further cement the contract between you and your builder
  • Many architects/agents will also provide a site supervision service if required

*There are a number of builders trade associations, the following are the most common:-

Quality Mark builders, Federation of Master Builders, National Federation of Builders

Consumer Code for Home Builders:

The Consumer Code for Home Builders was introduced in April 2010 and aims to ensure that all new home buyers are treated fairly and is aware of the service they should receive, and are provided with reliable information the property they are buying and their consumer rights.