Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Advertisement Feature - Do Your Homework on Builders

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Advertisement Feature - Do Your Homework on Builders

Article excerpt

Having building work done? Or perhaps you're thinking of having a new bathroom or kitchen fitted?

The key to a job well done may well be research.

Builders and tradesmen aren't mind readers, so make sure you brief them carefully from day one with exactly what you want.

Home improvement may be the biggest undertaking you'll make after buying, so whatever the task, familiarise yourself with the practicalities before having fun with colour, style and design and smooth the way for you, your builder and your budget.

Finding a reliable builder may not as difficult as you expect if you're prepared to put in some time.

If you don't have any recommendations from family or friends, use a website like to help you begin your search. This site will put you in touch with a selection of builders in your area.

Next, meet up and decide whether you can work with them ( after all they could be in and out of your house for the next few months if it's a big project. You may have to wait for them, though ( good builders, electricians, plumbers, plasterers and joiners are always busy.

Once you've found a tradesperson you can trust, make some firm decisions about what you want so you can brief him well. Use all the information and advice you can get hold off - the Federation of Master Builders' (FMB) Essential Guide to Home Improvement has everything you will ever need for completing a successful project.

Try not to be unprepared ( lack of preparation before a job starts can leave everyone confused. One FMB builder said: "Many homeowners fall out or dismiss their architect once they have obtained a nucleus of a design and look to their builder to carry on and fill in any gaps. Good design and a good drawing package does cost money, but it can save money overall because it helps to avoid expensive alterations or variation work during the building stage and the project is less likely to run over budget or time. …

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