by Jim Surkamp
During the current recession more and more people are understandably choosing to extend or improve their property rather than moving. This can be a prudent move as these works not only increase your living space in an efficient way but more importantly they also add value to your home. This is particularly beneficial in a climate which has seen house prices decreasing in value.
The important thing to take into account when thinking of having these works carried out is to ensure that you hire a reliable and established builder particularly during the current recession.
When investing large sums of money towards your home improvements it is vital to ensure that you select a financially secure builder with a good reputation to carry out the work for you. There would be nothing worse than to pass on a substantial payment to a struggling company who would merely pass your money on to pay off any creditors. There are unfortunately many such companies facing this problem at the moment.
The best way to check on builders credentials to carry out some research on the company. The internet in an excellent means to do this. A good builder would also be able to offer testimonials and recommendations from previous customers as well as being able to show photographic examples of their work.
It is also very important to check on the builders qualifications. A good builder would be an affiliate of associations such as the Master Federation of builders, NHBC and Construction Line.
Be careful to ensure also that the builder concerned is fully up to date in his knowledge of current planning requirements as planning issues can be quite diverse where home improvements are concerned.
It is also crucial to ensure that the quotation that you accept is a realistic one for the works being carried out. Some builders can initially under price on the original quotation in order to secure the work over another builder. However when works begin they will then advise customers of additional charges for the extra work or materials required to complete the job. It is therefore not always recommended to automatically accept the cheapest quotation. It is sometimes better to pay a little extra in order to ensure a more accurate costing for the work together with better quality work and after care service.
Therefore when considering making home improvements it is important to employ a reliable and established builder with a good reputation to ensure that the work carried out will be the most cost effective and of the highest quality available.
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