It can be tempting to save on the expense of contracting out home renovation work which you think you could have a crack at yourself.

However, it can save you time and money when you consider the materials which end up wasted if you don’t know what you’re doing.  Not to mention the cost of having someone repair the damage of a DIY bathroom project gone wrong.

Here are our tips for finding the right builder for your project 

1. Get references

Getting references is vital, unless you want to end featured up on a Channel 5 documentary about cowboy builders. Once you have the references, check them by contacting the people who provided them, and find out how happy they were with the work completed.


2. Get quotes

Once you have a shortlist of builders you’re happy with, get quotes on prices and exactly what is included and what’s not covered. You should get this in writing, and it should include things like site maintenance, clearance and materials.  Also be wary that the cheapest quote may not be the best quality - so be prepared to pay a bit more for someone reliable and experienced (see point 1)


3. Get everything in writing

It’s really important to get everything in writing. This contract should include what work is to be done, start/completion dates, security, safety, the cost of the work and materials, payment plans, catering and lavatory arrangements, hours of work, cleaning up and the disposal of waste materials.  Make sure the person you choose agrees to everything - to avoid arguments further down the line.


4. Avoid VAT-free, cash-in-hand work

You should be upfront with your builder about money, and avoid VAT-free, cash-in-hand deals.  That's because you won’t have a valid contract if there is no proof of payment.  A bad start.

Again, you should have everything in writing and stay away from paying upfront with a cash deposit. This shouldn’t be required unless you request specialist materials.


5. Check the builder is insured

The builder should have cover to protect themselves against property damage, and personal and public liability to protect you and the general public in the event of accident or injury.


And a bonus tip:

A lot of builders will also make a margin on materials.  Save yourself extra money by checking out our website, where you can find great deals on plastics and hardware supplies.