How to Choose Between London Builders
It is never east to find a good builder or rated tradesman in a big city or large urban area. People there are less likely to form early friendships with strangers, and are also much more reticent to give advice or become involved in other people’s business. Hence, the personal referrals that work so well in the countryside are seldom of any use in big cities.
Tradespeople also know this fact, and some take unfair advantage by making quick killings and then moving on. If you can afford the higher fees, then one way around this problem is to contract with large companies who have a reputation to maintain, and staff to deal with complaints coolly and impartially.
The air space in the middle is of course the question of how to track down a reliable recommended builder in a big city that you can afford, because they do not have the overheads of the large firms. There are always good tradespeople when you look in the right places, and I have usually been able to find details of several Builders in London to choose from, by using a company called Mr-Price. Using their website is simplicity itself. All you have to do is to type mr-price.co.uk in the address box, and then enter your postal code and your requirement in the search box that appears. Hit the enter key, and hey bingo a list of options appears on your computer screen.
I like to make my final choice from among the names that I get from the website by interviewing each builder using a standard set of questions to be fair to all. These are my favourite ones:
o How long have you been in business?
o Which City & Guilds papers do you have?
o Do you have public liability insurance?
o What registrations do you have?
o Do you work in (your area) regularly?
o Are you willing to provide me with a few local references?
Any tradesman who balks at answering questions like these is best passed over in favour of one who does not. Unless you are in the business of providing free training opportunities to fledgling building firms, stick to your knitting and to a person or firm who you know will do the job.
It is not that difficult to find a rated tradesperson or good builder when you use the services of Mr-Price. You will also have the advantage of somewhere to turn to if there are problems, and a service provider who needs to remain on good terms with them too. There’s one last important thing to mention. Once you choose somebody to complete a project for you, keep your hat on tight and get a written quote against a written work specification before you let the job begin.