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Advice with


Dear Chris,

Firstly, congratulations on getting planning permission for your dreamy new extension! It’s such an exciting step in the journey to your dream home. Now, onto the builder selection, a crucial phase indeed.

Considering you’ve received several quotes within your budget, that’s a promising start. When it comes to making the choice, it’s not just about the bottom line. Take a close look at the details of each quote. Ensure they cover all aspects of the project, and don’t hesitate to seek clarification on any ambiguous points.

Ideally, you should request for quotes using a detailed scope of works that list  every aspect of the project, from the specific materials to be used and their quality standards, to the timeline for each phase of construction, and the detailed breakdown of costs including labour, materials, and any potential additional expenses. This comprehensive scope of works acts as a blueprint for your project, ensuring that each builder is quoting on the same set of criteria, making it easier for you to compare quotes accurately and make an informed decision based on a clear understanding of what each builder is offering for the agreed-upon price.

While cost is a significant factor, I would advise against automatically opting for the cheapest option. The old adage “you get what you pay for” often holds true in the construction world. A builder providing a significantly lower quote may be cutting corners or using subpar materials, potentially leading to issues down the line.

To avoid the dreaded cowboy builder scenario, consider the reputation and track record of each builder. Online reviews, testimonials, and even speaking directly to past clients can offer valuable insights into their reliability and quality of work.

Also, Chris, don’t be shy about asking for references or examples of completed projects similar to yours. A good builder will be more than willing to showcase their expertise.

Lastly, trust your instincts. If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. The relationship between the builder and the client is a collaborative partnership, and placing trust in your selected builder is crucial for the success of the entire project.

I hope this helps in navigating the builder selection process. Wishing you the very best in creating your dream home!

Warm regards, Alma

Alma FAQ

The word ‘Alma’ can be a given name, but in this case, it represents an idea. It means ‘soul’ in Spanish. The purpose of this column is to help, always remembering that the person asking may not be familiar with construction terminologies and it is seeking for a straight forward answer, but also for a touch of empathy and understanding.

Anything related to your building projects. Ideally something very specific about a particular situation you’re facing during your project.

This section is born from a desire to provide helpful advice to people and families feeling overwhelmed with the gigantic task that is renovating, refurbishing, extending your house, or even building a new house entirely on your own. Here we answer your burning questions with a bit of a personal touch and soul.

In reality, we will answer your question by email first and then post it here to help other homeowners in similar situation. If you do not wish your question to be posted online, please let us know in your message.

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