How to find a builder in Dundee or Edinburgh

8 Tips to find a builder in Dundee that you can trust.

If you live in Dundee or the surrounding area and are seriously considering a building project, you’ve no doubt realized that there are lots of decisions to make when hiring a building contractor!

The #no 1 thing that puts people off of getting started with a building project is the fear of hiring a ‘Cowboy Builder’

We get it, its a big deal!

To put you in the driving seat when looking for a builder in Dundee we have compiled a comprehensive checklist to make sure you make the right choice when choosing a builder in Dundee.

At the top of your list stands one dominant question:

How do I select a reputable & trusted builder?

This is a very important question namely because the skill & honesty of your chosen builder will play a vital role in the final result of your project. To assist you in this, we at John Webster Architecture have composed a list to help you screen & choose a Builder.

This list is based on our experience of completing hundreds of projects and dealing with lots of different builders. So regardless of where you might live or whether you are contemplating building an extension, converting your loft or making internal alterations, this checklist will assist you to make the right choice. Right, lets jump in!

You can print this out and fill the gaps in when you are doing your research.

The Ultimate Builder Vetting Checklist

Contractor Name: ___________________________________________________________

1.  Business Information and Experience

Is the company experienced and insured?
How long has the company been trading?
Years in business:  __________

note: 43% of contractors fail within the first three years after start-up

2.  Customer References

  1. Ask these questions to the builder:
  2. How many building projects have you completed since starting in business? __________
  3. How many in last year? ________
  4. How many references can you provide from satisfied customers? ________
    note: if the builder provides less than 50% of their customers as references we consider this to be a red flag. Our experience is that must customers when asked are more than happy to be a referee, most people are delighted to show off their new extension or loft conversion!   

3. When contacting References Ask the Following:

  1. If you could do it all again, would you use the same building contractor again?
  2. What did you most enjoy about the experience?
  3. What did you least enjoy?
  4. Would you do anything differently next time?
  5. How did the builder handle challenges and problems?

4.  Reviews and Rating

The builder has at least a 5:1 good review to bad review ratio
Yes, there are Cowboy Builders out there, but there are Cowboy Clients To!
Do they respond reasonably to negative reviews?

 5.  Workmanship Warranty

note: further reading in the following link

  • What is the duration of the builder’s warranty?
  • Do they provide a warranty?
  • What specifically does the builder’s warranty cover?

6.  Installation Practices

  • Does the builder have any processes or construction practices that make them stand out from the competition?
  • Are these practices relevant?

7.  Pricing and Contract

Whenever possible, make sure that the price given for all work is included in the contract or at the very least as a formal quote.

note: try to avoid getting into an agreement with the understanding that any landscaping or additional work will be priced by after the project has begun.  This is a tactic some contractors use to make the initial price of the project seem lower than what it will be.  

If the price is too good to be true, then its probably too good to be true:)

Start date, completion date, and timeline are listed on the contract

All “Extras” are listed in the contract

8.  Things to Remember & That Are NOT All That Important

  • The size of the company: great builders come in all sizes:)
  • In-house construction vs sub-contracted work: at the end of the day, great builders get it done either way and make sure you are happy in the end.
  • Website and Marketing: Shiny brochures and updated Facebook posts are nice, but not necessarily an indication of integrity or expertise.
  • There will rarely be a ‘perfect’ project, it’s how the builder deals with the problems that arise.
  • We hope you will find this helpful in your quest to find the ‘perfect’ builder.  If you would like to learn more about how we can remove a lot of the risk from ‘going it alone’ that involves us helping you tender for a contractor to finish your project to a very high standard.

At John Webster Architecture we deal with reputable builders on a regular basis, so if would like us to assist you to find a great builder in Dundee, let us know, we are happy to help you.

If you live in any of the areas we operate and are interested in receiving a quote click here.

  • City of Edinburgh
  • East Lothian
  • Midlothian
  • Borders
  • West Lothian
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Fife
  • Dundee City
  • Angus

Good luck with your project!

If you are ready to move ahead with your project and would like assistance to find a great builder, contact me

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