House extensions – things to remember when dealing with building firms
Making sure you attend to the points below will help you have a much more straightforward experience with your building company, and should avoid a lot of the most common issues that can occur with a home extension.
Do the due diligence on your house extension builders
Making sure that your builders have a proven track record of high quality work should be an early priority.
A reliable builder will have records on file of previous projects similar to the one you are looking to commission, and you should ask questions such as:
“Could I see your portfolio?”
This should be no problem for any house extensions builders, as they should be pleased to provide evidence of previous successful works and track records.
“How soon can you complete the extension?”
This is an important subject, because many builders have a waiting list, and homeowners can sometimes wait months for projects to start.
Before signing any documents, make sure that you have a clear idea on when you want the project to begin, and agree the start dates with your builder.
Ensuring that you are clear on the pricing seems obvious, but it’s a point worth raising.
Some building companies may not be so clear on pricing, whilst others are much more transparent. If possible, ask for an itemised breakdown or at least, at an early stage, a rough idea of costings.
Qualifications and accreditations
It is a good idea to check that the building company in question employs staff that have the necessary accreditations and qualifications – one that does will usually be very proud to make you aware of them.
Some of these accreditations include, but are not limited to, NVQ qualifications and a valid CSCS licence. These are essential qualifications to have as a self-employed builder.
Some builders will have additional qualifications, such as a City & Guilds certification, and some may be CORGI registered, but it’s not necessarily a prerequisite.
Make sure that you have a very clear idea of how you want your house extension to be completed.
All desired structural and design elements need to be flagged up in the conversation between you and the building company before any plan is drawn up. This is important because it’s the builders’ opportunity to feed back on whether your plans are appropriate for your property, and also on what is possible or not be given the existing building’s space and structure.
If you want an extension but live in a terraced property, gaining sufficient access can be challenging when it comes to building an extension.
However, this is more of an issue for the extension builders to check, making sure that access to the workspace – such as the rear, side or upstairs of the property – is sufficient to get the job done.