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Builders in Dundee

How to find good builders in Dundee

Are you thinking about building a house extension or some other building project but are worried you might get a ‘Cowboy Builder’?

If you live in Dundee, Angus, Perth or Fife and are thinking about starting a construction project you will no doubt be looking for a great builder to build your dream kitchen extension, loft conversion or whatever it is you have in mind?

You have watched TV ‘cowboy builders’ and maybe even know someone that has had a bad experience with a builder, this probably makes you more than a little nervous!

It’s the single biggest thing that puts someone off doing a building project.

The good news is that there are more good builders in Dundee than bad ones.

You need to get the right team in place, a builder that you can trust is worth their weight in gold.  But how do you go about it?

There is a lot to consider, and you will naturally have lots of questions.

  • How do I find a Great Builder?
  • How much do Builders cost?
  • What are the problems with hiring a Builder?
  • Where can I see a Builders reviews?
  • Who are the best Builders?
  • Should I hire separate tradesmen or a main contractor?

 

So let’s dive in and get these questions answered to give you the confidence to get that project started.

 

 

How to use the internet to find a good builders in Dundee

How to use the internet to find a good builder

 

 

How do I find a Great Builder in Dundee?

There are a few options.

  1. Look on the internet

It’s a given these days that the first place we look when we want anything is the internet aka ‘Google’, however in the case of finding a builder in Dundee (or anywhere for that matter) there are some important considerations.

A flash website that has little or no content, is no guarantee of a great builder.

Dig a little deeper, do they have verifiable reviews on the website (for instance google reviews, these are nigh on impossible to fake)

Dig deeper still, check social profiles such as Facebook for comments and customer feedback. Google their business name, if someone has had a bad experience they can use some other review site online to let others know.

Google the director or owners name, do they have a string of failed companies behind them? If so…..run!

The internet makes it difficult to hide.

Can they provide some references from previous jobs they have done?

The best thing you can do is, do your homework, you will discover this is time well spent.

  1. Word of mouth

word of mouth to find a good builders in Dundee

Need a good builder in Dundee? Ask friends and family.

It’s true that not all good builders have good websites.

In fact, most builders have poor websites with very little information on it but don’t be dismayed, some great building contractors in Dundee don’t have a website.

So, who can you ask?

You can ask a friend or work colleague that you know who has had building work done recently. Ask them:

  • What was the standard of work like?
  • Did they clean up after themselves?
  • Were they trustworthy?
  • How did they deal with problems that arose?

You may have more questions, ask away, this is a great information gathering exercise for you.

They will be honest with you, if they were good they will tell you😊

Who else can you ask?

You can ask your architect or designer (if you are using one).

At John Webster Architecture we work closely with building contractors in Dundee on a daily basis and are happy to spread the word to our clients about the different contractors that we work with.

They are probably the best placed to advise you on great builders that the work with.

As you might imagine Architects and construction professionals do not want to deal with ‘Cowboy builders’ as it will affect their reputation. Not to mention give them (and you) a major headache!

 

How much do Builders in Dundee cost?

How much does it cost to hire a good builders in Dundee?

How much does it cost to hire a builder in Dundee?

Ok, you know how to go about finding a great building contractor for your project, but how much does it cost to hire a builder in Dundee?

This depends on several factors, such as:

  • How busy/in demand they are
  • What type of work it is
  • Is the work specialized?

In Demand builders in Dundee.

Is the contractor in demand? If so they might be able to charge a premium.

People are generally willing to pay a premium if they feel that the builder is worth waiting for.

While nothing is guaranteed, if the builder has 50 five star reviews then there is a very good chance you will get a great job done.

For may good builders there is generally a lead in time of around 2 months (it may be a little more than this) but more often than not its worth waiting.

Being in demand means that they are not chasing work and means that the contractor is in pole position when pricing work.

Some in-demand contractors will only take on jobs that they like to do.

Even considering all this there will still be a ceiling on the price that they can charge, they cant afford to charge too much or they will have no customers and no business = not in demand anymore.

2019 Dundee Construction Costs

At John Webster Architecture we are asked on a regular basis:

  • How much will it cost to build my extension?
  • How much will it cost to convert my loft?

So, while experience will tell us how much something should cost based on previous jobs that are similar, it’s not always the case.

A figure of £1000.00 per m2 has been bandied about for a long time, this is now very much out of date, the costs below reflect 2018 costs some contractors will charge more others will charge a bit less.

If you are building a Kitchen extension (for example), Loft Conversion or Internal alterations in Dundee then typical costs are.

House Extension costs in Dundee 2019

Type Standard Specification High Specification
House Extension £1400.00m2 £2000.00m2

 

 

Loft Conversion costs in Dundee 2019

Type Standard Specification High Specification
Loft Conversion £600.00m2 £1000.00m2

 

 

Internal Alterations costs in Dundee 2019

Type Standard Specification High Specification
Internal alterations £600.00m2 £1000.00m2

 

 

What are the problems with hiring a Builder In Dundee?

What are the problems hiring a Builders in Dundee?

What are the problems of hiring a Builder in Dundee?

Like anything in life, nothing is ever plain sailing, as I’m sure that you well know!

What can you do to reduce your risk?

As mentioned earlier it’s a good idea to do your homework and be informed beforehand.

 

Expectations

Find out right at the start what the contractor is offering and more importantly what he is not.

Be honest and get your ideas and the contractors aligned right at the start, make sure that you are on the same page.

It’s a great idea to have a contract. This makes everything clear.

This is a contract (link below) that an architect will use on your project, the contract will be between you and the Builder

http://www.sbcconline.com/documentsample.aspx?docId=45

This is a contract (link below) that you can use on your project, the contract will be between you and the Builder.

http://www.sbcconline.com/documentsample.aspx?docId=46

 

Price

Make sure that the price is fixed at the beginning.

There is a tendency for the initial price to rise significantly and the end price to bear no resemblance to the initial price.

WARNING: Don’t be reeled in by the promise of a very low price, if it seems too good to be true it probably is.

Having a contract will make sure that the price agreed, in the beginning, will be the price that will be paid, if any additional work is required then this will be quoted for and agreed by you (the customer) before being carried out.

This will massively reduce your risk and potentially save you thousands of pounds.

At John Webster Architecture we administer contracts between our customers and Builders in Dundee on a regular basis.

We prepare an extensive pre-construction document that covers every element of the project, from door handles and switches to staircases and boilers.

This process ensures that the contractor is equipped with the correct information in order to provide an accurate price.

This process is designed to further reduce your risk and remove assumptions.

We obtain a minimum of 3 quotes on your behalf from trusted building contractors, this gives a good spread of prices and helps get the best value

Trust & Communication

Good Communication is vital to hiring a Builder in Dundee

Good Communication is vital to hiring a Builder

 

This is a big one, as both trust and communication are vital and will play a critical role in the success of your building project.

From the very beginning trust your own judgment, ask yourself:

  • Do I like this person?
  • Can I work with this person?

If the answer to both of these questions is yes then you are off to a good start!

If the answer is no, then you should seriously consider finding another contractor, as you could be working with them for an extended period of time its important to have a good rapport.

Communication is a good quality to have as a customer and a contractor, without good communication assumptions will be made and the risk increases.

PRACTICAL TIP: set up a communication plan at the start, decide on your channel of communication, it could be text or email or even the good old-fashioned phone (dare I say).

This means that when decisions need to be made you are available to make them and avoid holdups to the project or someone else making the decisions for you.

 

 

Builders reviews

Find reviews for builders in Dundee

Find Dundee builders reviews

I want to hire this builder but I can’t find any reviews online!

At John Webster Architecture we hear this a lot, but to reiterate the point at the beginning of this article good builders don’t always have a good online presence, builders tend to be a little old school, they are too busy building to get a website😊

Some builders do have a facebook page with reviews, this is a good place to start.

You can simply Google the builder’s name and scroll through the results, there are literally hundreds of review services and there is a good chance something will show up.

The good news is that if they are ‘Cowboy builders’ someone will want to tell all about this if they have had a bad experience and publish this online so you can weed the bad ones out early on.

On the whole, most Builders in Dundee are good reliable contractors so don’t worry too much.

The safest way to find a builder in Dundee is to ask someone who spends  a lot of time on construction sites & deals with builders on a daily basis

Ask your Architect or designer to recommend a builder, they know loads of them.

Want to know how much our Architectural Fees are?

 

Who are the best Builders in Dundee?

Good question, however it probably wouldn’t be fair to put a list here as there are too many great builders in Dundee to mention.

At John Webster Architecture we deal with lots of different types of building contractors in the Dundee area, from tradesmen to small building firms to the larger building firms.

Get in touch HERE, we will be happy to recommend a contractor to you.

What, though makes a great builder?

  • Skilled at building/construction
  • Great leadership
  • Good communicator
  • Fair
  • Personable
  • Trustworthy
  • A good listener

Yes, being a skilled craftsman is a good starting point but there is so much more needed to make them stand out and really be a great Builder.

Skills in other areas are needed to make the excel, such as leading & coordinating a team of employees or subcontractors.

Good communication and being a good listener is also essential, a good builder needs to listen to the customer or the Architect, not just follow the path of least resistance and do what is easiest.

On this point it cant really be overstated that if you want a contemporary extension, hire a contractor who knows how to build this (a specialist) and gets it….don’t be tempted to hire just anyone, you might live to regret it!

They have to be fair and trustworthy, you don’t want the feeling that they are looking for a way to ‘Rip you off’ at any given opportunity.

I know its difficult, but try to resist the temptation to hire a contractor solely on the lowest initial price, at John Webster Architecture we have seen this happen time and again, yes the price is one factor, there is no denying that.

But when it comes to hiring a Builder in Dundee you normally get what you pay for.

So, to recap, if you want to find a good Builder in Dundee do your homework, ask your friends and colleagues to recommend someone.

Look on the interweb, when Builders have lots of bad reviews its difficult to hide!

Get informed, know beforehand how much building work currently costs in your area.

The more information you have the better equipped you will be to hire a good builder and get a great project.

 

Should I hire separate tradesmen or a Main contractor?

Hiring a Good Builder in Dundee

Separate trades OR Main contractor

Can I project manage myself?

Instead of hiring a builder in Dundee to act as the main contractor it is possible for you as the client to assume this role yourself.

The builder you hire will normally employ or subcontract all the different trades and manage them, organizing the timing so the job runs smoothly.

They will have a slick operation in place with reliable and trusted subcontractors.

However, it is possible to do this yourself but will depend on a couple of things:

  • How much experience you have
  • How much you want to be involved

During the construction phase is when the risk to you is highest, its when things are most likely to go wrong.

So, if you want to manage the project yourself its ideal if you have some experience in construction and have an eye for detail.

You will also need plenty of time and be available to make decisions and co-ordinate various trades.

If you don’t mind ‘getting your hands dirty’ then this will be a perfect role for you.

So, to recap, if you want to find good Builders in Dundee do your homework, ask your friends and colleagues to recommend someone.

Look on the interweb, when Builders have lots of bad reviews its difficult to hide!

Get informed, know beforehand how much building work currently costs in your area.

The more information you have the better equipped you will be to hire a good builder and get a great project.

More information Here on hiring a builder

If you are ready to move ahead with your project, get in touch we would love to hear from you john@jwarch.co.uk

Below are the areas we work in.

  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • East Lothian Council
  • Midlothian Council
  • West Lothian Council
  • Perth & Kinross Council
  • All Central Belt Councils
  • Fife Council
  • Dundee City Council
  • Angus Council