Ten per cent not happy with builders

ONE in ten Glaswegian building projects fail due to cowboy builders, a recent survey has claimed.

The poll, conducted by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), indicates building work was described as “apalling or badly done” in 10 per cent of cases while 43% of the city’s home owners were not happy with a receent project which had cost far more than quoted and took far too long.

Further, one in 20 had sacked their builder and tried to finish the work themselves.

Some 37% of those polled said they wished they had checked out the credentials of their builders prior to giving the project a green light.

George Clarke, architect and presenter of Channel 4’s Restoration Man, said: “Getting the builders in can be a nightmare, particularly if they prove unprofessional uncooperative.

“The key to choosing the right builder is to check them out thoroughly, set out clear ground rules and then keep up good communication with your builder throughout the project”.

The FMB has the following tips for people considering having building work done:

1. seek written, like-for-like quotes from at least three builders. Make sure their quotes cover everything

2. talk to the builders’ previous customers. Go and see their previous jobs and ask the customer how it went

3. check that your builders are members of a trade association or professional body, such as the FMB. Make sure they have an insurance-backed warranty scheme

4. don’t choose your builder on cost alone. Chemistry and understanding are vital

5. put what you have agreed down in writing, preferably in a contract that you both sign. Set up a staged payment plan and stick to it.

A spokesman for FMB said: “Sadly, we hear of too many dream home renovations that have turned into nightmares.

“However, here in Glasgow, there are plenty of great builders and delighted home owners”.