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  • Martin Saunders

Tips when choosing your builder

If we were looking for a good builder, we'd want to know a lot about them. Here's some sound advice and key questions to ask when choosing a builder for your project.


  1. Do your homework Don’t skimp on the time and trouble it takes to make a good selection. Your project is a big commitment and you want it to go well.

  2. Get recommendations Talk to your architect, friends and family and people who’ve had building work done previously. Saunders Brothers regularly get business from recommendations from old customers and architects we’ve worked with.

  3. How did their builders perform? Was their work good? Was the final bill the same as they'd quoted? If it wasn’t, was there good reason for it? (there often is). Were any changes, additions, etc. charged at a fair price? Did they keep their work area clean and tidy? Were their men trustworthy? ...and anything else that worries you. Saunders Brothers will be happy to answer any question you put to them.

  4. Visit some projects Visit a site if that can be arranged safely. At Saunders Brothers, we’re proud of our work and our sites. We’ll give you addresses of completed projects similar to yours and try to arrange a site visit if you wish. We believe you’ll see a high standard of finish on our work and cleanliness and safety on our sites.

  5. Get some quotes. Once planning consent and Building Regulations approval are complete, you can get prices for the work, either by negotiating with one builder (get your architect’s help) or by getting prices from several. Your architect can send out the enquiries with all the drawings, specifications and requirements. Saunders Brothers will always provide a fair value for money price, whether by negotiation or competitive quotation.

  6. Don’t look at the bottom line of quotations only. The detail helps you identify the responsible, competent, quality builders. Saunders Brothers are proud of the details. We won’t skim over them. We believe we can answer any likely question positively in terms of delivering a successful trouble-free project.

  7. Is all this trouble worth it? Would you buy an item in a shop without checking the detail – no? It takes longer and needs specialist help with a building project but it’s also more important because of the time, regulations and cost.

  8. Accepting the quotation. The price that gives you best value for money is what you need and that’s why the details are so important. Firms who don’t specify the detail may have something to hide. Check all the details carefully, if necessary with the help of your architect. Check that everything is included. Are there any items that are included in some quotations but not in others? Saunders Brothers will always be happy to confirm any detail.

  9. Don't put your money at risk. Don't pay a deposit. Agree stage payments (normally monthly valuations followed by payment within 14 days), and ensure the works are not overvalued.

  10. The contract. You may want a formal contract or, provided all the detail is fully specified, you may think it’s unnecessary. The JCT Homeowners’ Contract is suitable for most domestic work and your architect will help you find your way through it anyway. Saunders Brothers have many satisfied customers who’ve chosen both routes and will be happy to work with you whatever you choose.

At Saunders Brothers we care about our clients and care about looking after our brilliant reputation. A lot of our work comes from recommendations, so it's in our best interest! We do our very best to ensure your building project goes as smoothly as possible and make this an enjoyable experience for you. If you have any other questions that aren't here, please get in touch, mail@saundersbrothers.co.uk We'll only be too happy to help.
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Architectural Timber Products Ltd
Park Mill
Summerleys Road
Princes Risborough
Buckinghamshire HP27 9QB

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