The demand for carrying out a home extension remains very strong in the UK, particularly in the region that we work in, due to the relatively high land values and the rise in house prices. A home extension is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to add significant value and improve the ‘livability’ of your family home.
There are, of course, many things to consider when appointing a builder to carry our a home extension on your property. Online searches, general enquiries, word of mouth recommendation and general marketing are all ways in which you can find a reputable builder to carry out a home extension, but where do you start and what is the best way to find a builder?
Word of mouth recommendations.
Perhaps the easiest and best way to find a reputable company to carry out your home extension is a word of mouth recommendation from someone you trust, who perhaps has had a similar project successfully completed. If you know someone in your street with a similar house that has had building work done in the last few years, talk to them about their project. The chances are, any issues and problems found in their house may also be present on your property. Especially if your home is a similar age and style etc.
Online Searches for ‘home extension company’.
We live in an information age where any reputable local builder is likely to have a good website. At Wiggs, we try and keep our site updated with information about what we’ve been doing and essentially it forms a portfolio of some of our best work. If you’re searching online for a local builder to carry out home extension works then look for companies with a good portfolio of work and make sure they sound like they ‘know what they’re talking about’ on any descriptions of work carried out. Also look for recommendations and reviews on sites like Google and their social media profiles like Facebook.
Generally speaking, people are happy to speak their mind on social media and you’re likely to get a very honest review if you do some digging on their company Facebook page.
The cheapest quote isn’t always the best.
We’ve written about this in the past and something that continues to plague our industry is the practice of under quoting or ‘going in low’ on quotations in order to secure the work. Unscrupulous builders will go in cheap in order to secure the work, and then ramp the prices up with ‘hidden problems and extras’ once working on the home extension project. Recently we’ve lost out on a couple of projects to companies who have done this, only to have the customer come back to us weeks later complaining that the builder was now thousands of pounds over the quote because of mysterious ‘unexpected’ problems.
At Wiggs we don’t under quote. We get a granular understanding of what our customer’s projects require and then we price accordingly. This way our customers know exactly what they’re going to pay and it’s never a penny more unless there’s some truly drastic change or the customer increases the level of specification.
Your checklist of the things you should be mindful of:
- Portfolio/Proof of previous works
- Look for reviews/recommendations/social engagement online as commercial proof of ability
- Invite the representatives to speak with you about the project in question (they should offer a free consultation)
- During the meeting always ask about time-scales, costs, disruption, ascertain what is possible given the space available and the scale of the property, also bring up planning permission as a subject and check that all work will be carried out in accordance with building regulations.
- Ask about qualifications & certification
- Check and cross reference to see if pricing is reasonable – don’t always assume the cheapest quote is best.
- Make sure all parties are very clear on what is expected of this project.