Home Improvement Guide
Having building work done on your home can be a source
of investment and enjoyment. Like all investments, you
should take your time and ensure you are dealing with a
reputable firm. By following simple, smart advice, you
can ensure a result you'll be proud of.
Get a good idea of what you want before contacting a
contractor. Consider your budget, and the time frame in
which you want the improvements completed.
Contact Chelbuild, and one of our friendly
experts will be happy to offer advice on how long the job
may take, and an approximate price range for the work.
You need to decide how you will finance the work.
Improvements made to your home can significantly increase
the value of your property. If you have money available,
an ideal way to invest is in an extension -
not only will it raise the value of your property, it
will also enable you to enjoy the increased space and
functionality of your home.
One way to raise funds for the work is through re-mortgaging
your home - speak to your mortgage provider about this.
Get in touch with an architect to discuss having plans
drawn. There are many to choose from in the Yellow Pages.
For reassurance, choose one which is a member of the Royal Institute of British
offer a free initial consultation.
The architect will have the plans drawn and submitted
to the local authority. They will examine the plans to
verify that they are in order. This can take up to 8
weeks. During this time, it is a good idea to begin
getting estimates for the work.
Never pay for an estimate for building work.
A reputable builder will never charge you for this service.
Always arrange to meet the proprietor
in person. This will allow you to assess the level of
service you can expect. Note whether the builder is
actually interested in the the work and you, the customer.
This can give you an idea of how committed they are to
your building project.
Choosing a builder
The only true indication of a builder's credibility is
the work he has already carried out. So it's essential to
follow up references, to ensure that they are genuine.
Here are some questions you should ask referees:
Was the quality of the work what you anticipated
(or even better)?
Was the work completed on time?
Did the work cause disruption to you?
Was the builder reliable?
Choose a recommended builder - either by a friend or a
professional association. Don't fall for a smart-talking
salesperson or a 'cowboy' builder. If you know the
builder has completed quality work in the past, then that's
a good sign.
Cheapest isn't always best. High quality materials and expert
workmanship do not usually come at a low price. Important things to look
for are whether the job will be completed on time and whether your
property will be left tidy. If a price seems too good to be true,
you should check the builder's references for reassurance.
Don't pay a deposit. There is no need to part with
your cash at least until work has been started. If the
builder requires payment up-front, ask why, and ask yourself
whether you really trust them.
Good builders are in high demand and they may not be
able to start the work immediately. It is usually worth
the wait - this ensures the utmost care and attention to
detail for your home improvements.
Starting the work
Once you have chosen a builder, they can start work as
soon as planning permission is granted. Ask for regular
updates about how the work is progressing, and feel free
to ask any questions.
Pay for the work by cheque, if possible. Always get a
receipt or invoice for payments, and keep this in a safe
And finally, remember that care when choosing a
builder will result in a job well done, and ensures utmost
satisfaction with your home improvements.