Finding the right builder to match your needs is a tricky subject. Remember that your project would be as good as the people behind it. There are builders who will just handle your project but would not think about its long-term welfare. Having a builder that does not completely focus on the integrity of the project is very costly. There would be safety and legal implications, and it would consume too much of the project owner’s time.
Jack just moved into town armed with a mission. He wanted to set up a local charity and he needs a suitable building as their headquarters. He and his association decided that they will have it built from the ground up. He drew up plans, and started looking for a suitable builder. At the behest of a friend, he hired the services of Company X. He was reluctant at first, since the company was a large firm that he feared will not give importance to his mid-sized project. Still, he thought it was better than a small company with no experience with what he wanted built.
As a business, Company X seemed to be mostly after profit. Jack soon found himself dealing with hidden rates and unexplained charges. This was not even halfway through the construction. Company X was known as a large builder, and charged a higher overhead. Since Jack had no one overseeing the project, he found that the company tried cutting corners with bad workmanship. Because of pay issues, some of the contractors stopped showing up for work. There were problems that popped up along the way, but Jack was not informed of them immediately.
Jack tried to file complaints with the company’s management, but his words fell on deaf ears. There were instances when his calls were neither received nor returned. The unexplained delays went on, and Jack knew without a doubt that he made the wrong choice in his builder.
What Jack Could Have Done
Jack’s problem is not unique. Project owners from all around the world have the same concern in varying doses. Homeowners get substandard homes, even if they are just small projects. Mid-size projects run an even bigger risk due to their more complicated structures. These issues go directly against the Consumer Rights Act of 2015.
Fortunately, there are several ways a project owner can find a reliable builder. Here are some of the steps you’ll have to look into:
- Define your wants and needs. Having a crystal-clear plan for your house is the first step to success. Without any plan, sky’s the limit for both errors and expenses.
By defining your needs, you can also find the right builder. There are builders who specialize in a specific range of structures, as well as different price ranges. There are also significant differences in the materials and processes used by different builders. These can significantly alter the finished product.
Once you have a concrete idea of your project, prepare an outline for it. Include all details and drawings. Send a copy of this outline to each of your prospective builders.
- Know where to look for builders. Sometimes, designers and architects work with a set of builders. However, it is worthwhile to look and find your own builder to get a better deal. It is best to start looking around during the planning phase of your building project. You can ask the owners of existing structures for their builders. Check out buildings that are not only visually appealing, but also those that show signs of quality. Good brands for building materials as well as fine workmanship are some things to look out for.
It is important to ask building owners about their experience, not just with the finished product but with their contracted builder as well. You should know how things went during the construction phase. Were there any issues? How were they addressed? Did the builder respond promptly and accordingly? It is important to ask if they are happy with their builders. Also ask what could have been improved in their experience, so you have an idea of what you may be dealing with.
- Set up a criteria for builders. It is very easy to just choose the cheapest among potential builders. However, this is just one criteria you should look into. In fact, a builder that offers a significantly higher or lower price for the same project should be questioned. There are lots of builders who bid low just to get the project. They often resort to cutting corners to turn up a profit on the job. Here are other criterias you should look into.
- Project portfolio. Always ask your potential builders for previous examples of their work. If possible, you should also talk to their previous clients as to have a background of their work. You should also personally inspect the examples of their work if you can.
It is also important to look at the items that the builders use for their projects. Products that
have a well-established reputation should mark the work of a good builder.
- License, insurance, and memberships. Make sure that your potential builder has a valid license. It is also a big plus if the builder is a member of a trade body. These bodies include the National Federation of Builders, Federation of Master Builders, and the Guild of Builders and Contractors.
It is also important to ask about the insurance. Builders and their trade contractors may have
different insurance policies. It is important to make sure you are covered during the building
- Qualifications. Has your builder taken on a similar project before? Ask them how they would approach the project.
- Guarantees. What would they offer should they take on the project? Take note at what they are covering.
- Communication. How can you reach them when you have questions? How quick do they address your needs? You need to be able to see if you can communicate with them on a daily basis. Construction projects run into dozens of small snags and you need to be in the loop of every one.
It is also important to look at the way the employees relate to you as you inquire. Do they listen
to your needs and address all your concerns? If they show genuine interest in your project while
also providing professional solution, then the builder should have a spot on your shortlist.
- Documentation. A deal between you and a builder is founded on trust, and everything should be clear as day. Make sure all terms and conditions are in black and white, and that they can be accessible when needed.
- Find a Quantity Surveyor. A quantity surveyor is the best person to approach for independent opinion. When checking, strike out the prospective builders’ names and ask the QS to look at the quotes. This way, they can assess the price and the services being offered. Such services might cost you a little extra, but it is the best way to get an expert’s take.
Quantity surveyors are best hired from the early stages. Their primary job is to make sure that the project owner gets the best value from the builder. They can also be a great help in quality control, building regulations, and procurement.
- Agree on the payments. You will need to make sure that the payment terms and the phases of work are all laid out clearly. This can save you from a lot of headache in the end. Issues with payments can lead to project delays.
- Find a council inspector. Council inspectors are needed to make sure the building meets the regulations. This is especially important for commercial structures and large projects.
Finding a builder may seem like a daunting task, but if you follow these steps, it shouldn’t be too hard. There are a select few builders that can easily fit all of the qualifications mentioned above. One among them is Darcy Construction, based in Romsey, Hampshire.
Building With Darcy Construction
Darcy was founded in 1999, and has a slew of successful projects to its name. Its portfolio contains different types of structures from luxury properties to conference centres. Their values range from half a million to several million pounds.
Darcy’s main claim to success is its unique position as a medium-sized contractor. Often, large companies are only interested in huge projects. Smaller companies, on the other hand, are not adept at managing medium-sized projects. This leaves certain groups such as charities, organizations, and some architects without a suitable building partner.
Darcy balances the stringent management of large builders with the lean price and outstanding care of smaller ones. It places an emphasis on expertise and on cost-efficiency. Each project Darcy handles is passed on to a dedicated team to ensure quality work. This highly-experienced core team consists of the following:
- Quantity Surveyor. A QS regularly visits the different projects to ensure the quality of the construction.
- Buyer. Their in-house buyers specialize in acquiring the best products for your project at the best price.
- Site manager. Their managers ensure the efficiency of each person working on your project.
- Project Director. A director oversees the entire construction. He makes sure the project plan is strictly followed. He also ensures that the expenses do not surpass the allotted budget.
The company also places a premium on visibility. Owners should know exactly what is happening to their projects. To this end, Darcy provides monthly on-site reports to update them on the build’s current status. Darcy can be easily contacted for any questions you might have.
Darcy is committed to the highest levels of quality and safety, as proven by its accreditations. Since its inception, it never had a single injury at the site. The company also assigns independent health and safety inspectors to each of its projects.
Because of these commitments, Darcy has been hired multiple times by its existing clients. They have experience in projects for the following sectors:
Darcy has continuous drive for excellence. This has earned it a membership among the following reputable authorities:
- Construction Line
- Federation of Master Builders
- Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
- Royal Institute of Chartered Builders
These credentials ensure that Darcy is accountable for all its works.
Darcy Construction ticks all of the boxes for finding the right builder, and then some. Its cost-effective model ensures the client takes home savings. This is compared to partnering with a construction giant. At the same time, a persistent attention to detail ensures that the project is brought to life in the best possible way. No matter how the size of your project, Darcy will be happy to help you out.