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Top 5 Tips on Hiring a Contractor from Sure Planning Director Steve McStea

So you’re looking to build an extension or perhaps a basement conversion, but where do you start?  With many firms out there promising the world it’s difficult to know how to choose the right one for you.  Sure Planning’s director Steve gives his top 5 tips on how to choose a contractor below:
1-Recommendations from others

Start by asking your friends and family and then check in with others in your area who are having works done.

2- Do telephone interviews with a few prospective contractors
• Do they take on projects the size of what you want to achieve?

• Will they provide references from suppliers?

• Are they able to provide a list of previous clients?

• Will they have many other projects going on at the same time?

• Do they use subcontractors?

Their answers to these will help give an idea of their availability, reliability, how much attention they’ll be able to give your project and how the project will run.

3- Meet face to face
Pick a couple of contractors you like the sound of to meet for estimates and further discussion.  They should be able to answer your questions and put you at ease- this person will be in your home for hours at a time so you need to get on with them- but at the same time, don’t let personality fool you.  Also, Google them for reviews or disputes.
Call up former clients from the list provided to find how their project was, and visit a current job site or completed works to see for yourself if the builders seem courteous and work safely, and without too much mess!
5- Compare quotes
Ask everyone to break down the cost of materials, labour and other expenses.  Don’t just go for the cheapest one though, it’s often better to spend a little more and choose someone you feel you can work with.

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