need tips on what to ask a builder

  sunnystaines 19:27 21 Jul 2011

my long search for a new home is looking good. seen a wreck and will get a builder to take it away and build on the same footprint.

i know about asking for gurantee insurance & NHBC. To be built with blocks, not sure what else to check/assk as it will be on a mortgage and donot what to get hit with exrtra costs half way through.

  Aitchbee 20:09 21 Jul 2011

BBC TV program 'Homes Under The Hammer' sometimes feature new builds but unfortunately the details of how the finished 'on the screen' house was constructed and the problems encountered are never shown.(I hope the BBC sort this out with a follow up program 'Homes - How To Build One'. This might encourage house-building in this country. (UK)

  Woolwell 20:25 21 Jul 2011

Architect, Quantity Surveyor are good places to start.

  sunnystaines 20:29 21 Jul 2011

thanks for the tips, off now to look up yellow pages for some.

  Woolwell 20:33 21 Jul 2011

Look up the professional associations, ask around who they would recommend, chose your professional advisor very carefully.

Do a lot of long research. It will go over budget unless you have a large contingency fund in your budget.

If you are starting with virtually no knowledge then I wouldn't go down your route.

  Woolwell 20:34 21 Jul 2011

Which part of the country are you thinking of?

  Forum Editor 23:03 21 Jul 2011

Use an architect.

Get him or her to show you some previous projects,and discuss a fee forecast before you commit. Your architect will recommend a structural engineer (structural calculations must be submitted to the local authority's building control department),and will handle the planning application and building control submission on your behalf.

The architect can also deal with what's referred to as 'supervision' as far as the builder is concerned, which means he or she will regularly visit the site, and will approve staged payments to the builder. This means you make no payments unless the architect has given approval.

It would be normal for the architect to invite several builders to submit tenders for the work, and these builders will be people with whom the architect has worked previously. An alternative is to negotiate a contract with a builder who you know and like; this can be a very good way of working, but you need to know who you're dealing with.

It's absolutely crucial that you give the architect a thorough briefing as to your exact requirements, so a schedule of works can be prepared for tendering or negotiating purposes. If you don't do this in detail you may be faced with unexpected extra costs as the work proceeds - it's the single biggest cause of client/builder disputes on small building works. You can't spend too much time on this, so sit down and try to think of everything before you start working with an architect - right down to the number of power and lighting points in each room, the type of doors, skirting boards, floor finishes, etc.

When budgeting don't forget that apart from your architect you will have to pay a structural engineer's fees, and a fairly hefty fee to the local authority building control department to cover the building inspector's site visits. The inspector's job is to ensure that the house is constructed in compliance with all current building regulations, and you'll receive a certificate of satisfaction on completion of the project. There will also be a fee for the planning application.

Your architect will draw up a standard building contract with the selected builder. Make sure that you know whose responsibility it is to insure materials on site, and the building itself whilst under construction. The architect should ask to see a copy of the builder's insurance policies, but satisfy yourself that this has been done.

  sunnystaines 09:01 22 Jul 2011


shepperon, surrey

FE some good advice thankyou

  Aitchbee 09:44 22 Jul 2011

It seems building a web-site is fraught with red-tape too.

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