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Prevention services

Advice on dealing with builders

Find out how to deal with builders.

Before building

  • Use a reputable architect to prepare the building warrant or planning application.
  • Use a reputable builder who can provide an insurance backed guarantee for the work.
  • Word of mouth is a good way to find a reputable builder or architect.
  • Make sure you have permission before building work starts.
  • Make sure you get a quote and not an estimate. A quote is an agreed price for the work. The builder can change an estimate.
  • Get 3 or more quotes from reputable builders.
  • Ask for references for any builders you're thinking of using.
  • Be aware if one quote comes in much cheaper than the others.
  • Always get a contract.
  • Remember as the property owner you need to make sure the builder carries out work to the agreed plans.
  • You're also responsible for the day to day supervision of the building and the work.
  • An architect or chartered surveyor can offer this service for a fee.

During building

  • You need to give the council 7 days' notice the work is about to start.
  • The property owner needs to contact the council for key stage inspections.
  • The Construction Compliance and Notification Plan (CCNP) includes the list of inspection.
  • Don't rely on the builder to do this for you.
  • Contact the council if you think anything isn't right. It's easier to deal with issues an early stage.
  • When the work is complete make sure the builder gives you an Electrical Certificate. You need to send this to the council with the complete certificate submission.
  • The council will inspect the work. If they are OK with the work they will issue a Completion Acceptance.
  • The law says you use the building when you have a Completion Acceptance.

Related information

Federation of master builders

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