1. A Commitment to Act
Whether there’s an unfinished project that’s left hanging or there’s a new project (kitchen, bathroom, extension, loft conversion, external works or whatever it may be) that you’ve said to yourself that you’ve always wanted but have delayed and put things off, then the first part is to make a solid decision to act. And when I say act, I mean take the necessary steps to start the whole process moving in a forward direction
The problem with wishing and wanting things to be better in the house and not doing anything about it can drive us crazy by not acting and sorting things out once and for all.
So, the first part of the 4 step process is to turn your house into a home you just can’t stay away from, is to make a decision to act.
2. List Your Objectives
The second part of the 4 step plan is to decide on a few key objectives.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. What do I want to have done? (bathroom, kitchen, loft, extension, exterior work, etc)
2. What period of time do I want to have the work fitted in? (How soon, what month, etc)
3. What is my allocated budget for this work (establish how much money you will set aside for this)
4. Where will I get the finances to pay for the work? (own money, borrowings, loan)
5. Who can do this work, who do I trust? (previous builder, recommendations, contractor ads in local paper, us!
These key objectives are vital for you to consider when listing out various aspects of the work you want done. It’ll help you plan better!
3. Ask Questions
The next section is all about asking the right kind of questions to help you secure the right building contractor or building expert to create the home you want.
Now although this list isn’t exhaustive – meaning, it’s not a fully comprehensive list – there’s enough in there to help you sort out the cowboys and the real pros.
So here are the types of questions you should be asking;
1. How long have you been in business? (Be weary if you hear from someone who says they’ve been working for a few months or, that they ‘just can’t remember!’ how long they’ve been in business. Also, when you hear and answer like, ‘too long’ ask them to clarify what they mean)
2. How many clients have you worked for? (Watch out if you’re their first client!)
3. Ask for the phone numbers of two clients they’ve worked for. (If they willingly give them to you, there are no concerns there. You want to pay careful attention to those builders and contractors who stumble and stutter whilst being obviously evasive.)
4. Give me an example of a job that didn’t go well, where the client wasn’t happy. How did you fix things… how did you make things better? (Again, pay careful attention because you’re looking for honesty and truthfulness in their answers here.)
5. What’s important to you about the work you do for your clients? (You want to look for things like quality, pride, client value)
6. Why should I choose you to carry out the work for me than any other builder or contractor? (This is the time for you to be as quiet as a mouse, where you simply wait and listen for their answer. You’ll be surprised at those who will give you NO compelling reason as to why you should be hiring them!)
By simply asking all six questions (or a mix of these), it will give you a fair idea of the kind of person you’re dealing with and the kind of quality (or not!) work you can expect to have done.
4. Choose the Right Company
The above three steps will be really helpful in your decision making process. The final step for you is to choose a company to get the work done for you.
You will have received a host of things in this Consumer Awareness guide to aid and assist you when choosing the right builder or contractor.
Most times, choosing a builder or contractor can be nothing more than a lottery. However, now you have this information by your side – I think I can safely say that you’ll be more informed and more aware of the kind of company you want to let in to your precious home.
Now, if a friend or family member has referred a contractor to you, then that can possibly be the best way forward for you.
However, if that’s not the case, that you don’t have anyone you trust or has been referred to you, then what you may want to do is take this information as a guide and apply what you find here to any contractor you may interview or decide to go with.