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10 tips to find your perfect builder in West London. Nu Projects.

Finding the best builder for your project is a hard task, especially in London, where the market is saturated. Here are 10 top tips from Nu Projects for you to choose your perfect builder.

1. First step: start to search for the best builder who fits your expectations: Ask around for reference, there is a high chance that someone in your family had some work done in their properties with a construction company.

2. Be careful: Many builders are falsely claiming membership of trade associations. Always make sure that you start to work with a trusted builder and that they comply with CDM 2015.

3. References are key: Even if you get a contact from a family member, always ask for references. Research and meet them, check their Google ratings from previous customers.

4. Make a shortlist and ask for estimates: Get a detailed list from every builder to find out what is covered in the budget. This may include material prices, professional fees like architectural services and project management, site maintenance etc. Before the construction starts, ask the Principal Contractor if Planning Approval is required and if Building Control will be appointed.

5. Stay away from a ‘VAT-free’ deal: As this will void your JCT contract.

6. Every detail matters: Put the details of the job down in writing, the more thorough, the better. The contractor has to be responsible for outlining what work has to be done, the start and completion dates, the cost of the work, the cost of the materials, safety and security measures, payments, hours of work, catering and lavatory arrangements, cleaning up and disposal of waste materials.

7. Be clear about money: Payment terms have to be agreed on advance in writing. Nu Projects always use the JCT contract which set out the payment terms very clearly along with a cash flow forecast.

8. Upfront payments: The builder may asked for a small booking fee to lock you into a start date, this also usually funds the site set up and any licences which need to be purchased before the build starts.

9. Be straight about guarantee. What are they offering? Nu Projects offers a 12-month guarantee on all works. You can pay for extra protect with a 10 year Leyton Defeat insurance policy that covers all structural works.

10. Be sure the builder is insured: All builders should be able to produce an insurance document which covers employers liability up to £10,000,000 and public liability minimum of £5,000,000.

Image credits: Envato Elements

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