When it comes to the nitty gritty, hands-on electrical, plumbing and building works of your project, it’s essential that you seek the professional experience of contractors. If you decide to dive into doing works on your home without a designer (We’ve written a blog post on reasons to hire an interior designer, if you’re still unsure), there are some key questions you need to ask a contractor before appointing them.
To avoid any misunderstandings, it is important that the design be finalised before engaging any builders. Their quotes are pretty meaningless without a clear idea of what they are meant to be doing. A quote for a “tiled bathroom” will differ dramatically if the tiles are something small and fiddly like mosaic, or large format 90x90cm blocks. These are very different scopes of work and would be priced up accordingly.
It’s also always good to get a few people to quote. There will always be contractors who price low and those who price high, but it’s good to get an idea of what the average price would be for the work you want done. We’d recommend getting four. With four you should see some standardised pricing emerge. Chances are that one won’t be suitable or available and one will be too expensive. If possible ask for fully itemised quotes, as often the person who returns the expensive quote may have included more items or covered more ground. Sometimes, the expensive option is actually the better deal for the amount of work being done. Sometimes. ( Check out our post on planning a building budget for some tips on making sure that you’re spending the right amount. )
Here are some more questions to ask and things to consider:
Contractors speak a very specific technical language, one that designers are experienced with, and might take some getting used to if you’re hiring them yourselves. Once you’ve settled on your contractor though, you might want to consider how to best prepare your home for builders.
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