Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Builder, builder wherefore art thou?

The builder must be somewhere.
The builder who turns up on time.
The builder who doesn't do a sharp intake of breath and frown when you say what the job is going to be.
The builder who listens to your request and makes suggestions that make you say oh yes how wonderful.
The builder who genuinely is a talented, decent, hard working, honest person who will do the job for fair recompense.
The builder who comes with good recommendation and is able to show you work completed nearby.
The builder who will work on this job only and get it done in the quoted time (ok I'll allow for weather and unforseen circumstances) and on budget.
Do I ask too much?
Surely there is someone somewhere?
What price would you estimate for a single storey semi detached full width extension?
Perhaps large sums of money are ways of saying they don't want the job?
Or maybe I am ignorant of true costs.
Or maybe I just haven't found my builder yet..............

12 comments:

Tom Stephenson said...

I think he may have gone back to Poland.

sensibilia said...

Ha Ha! re Poland!

OK, with our extension it was 25 years ago. Two rooms wide, one, the kitchen, was single storey, the other room two-storey. It cost £11,000 then. I don't know what that would be in today's money, probably £25-30,000? The kitchen was separate. Different contractor, price not included in the above.

For the building work, we got three quotes and picked the middle one. My husband, a structural engineer, has extensive contacts in the building industry, so his enquiries were taken seriously, and he designed the structure himself. He also came home during the day regularly while the building was taking place, to check up on the builders and make sure they were following his instructions.

I would recommend getting a structural surveyor or similar to design your extension first, and give the builder the drawings. A neighbour tried to skip this step, and got the builder to work from scratch, without doing a proper survey. He started, but underneath the garden were some mains drains, and after doing some work, it all had to be put back again. Which was awful. You have some redress if you use a professionally qualified person, they have to have insurance.

On the other hand, another neighbour, who is an amateur plumber, did his whole thing himself, including operating an earth-digging machine to dig out the foundations. Maybe he was just lucky. Although he does know a lot about plumbing.

An engineer would also be able to recommend builders he works with regularly.

Hope that is helpful.

Joanne Noragon said...

I am thankful we do not have a shortage of the skilled trades where I live.

auntiegwen said...

Its tricky isn't it? he must be somewhere

Cro Magnon said...

I think you are forgetting why people become builders (or estate agents). It's usually because they can't do anything else, and their lack of traditional education also means lack of scruples.

I generalise, of course!

libby said...

Tom.....I'd pay his fare back.
S...thank you for such helpful commenting...how lucky you are to have a husband in the business...my mister is useless in that respect (but he does have other talents) and try 60k as a quote!
J...you are blessed indeed.
AG...I'll keep looking...I'm determined now.
Cro.....we have to have hope of finding someone though...I really can visualise the finished room in my head.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Wondering such things about the building fraternity makes me think that you are living in some kind of dreamworld Libby! Do you also believe in pixies?

K Ville said...

I know a very good one in leicestershire. Completed on time and in budget, he managed all the people needed like electricians, plumbers, windows etc. It was very easy. We did get the plans drawn up first though. It cost us about £20,000. And he'd 'done' one of our neighbours before us so we saw his work up front. I think we were jolly lucky really. I thanked him by reversing into his van and trashing it.

libby said...

YP...I believe in love, luck and destiny.....and Father Christmas..truly.
k....would he travel???

Mrs. Splapthing said...

I'm right there with you. I need a custom storm door built for a house with a rounded front door, and a plumber who can install a set of handles on a new shower that has old plumbing/spindles.

The custom door company sent someone out to take measurements and give me an estimate, then never called back. When I called them, they were rude... and never called back.

The plumber came and told me I should go to the plumbing supply store and try to find handles. As if I hadn't started out by doing that anyway...

Nobody wants to do their job anymore, apparently. And it's not just house-related stuff! My husband and I went to a local pizza/sandwich shop and ordered their Italian cold hero, and the boy behind the counter suggested we order something else because he just cleaned the meat slicer and didn't feel like getting it dirty again. We just walked out.

Nana Go-Go said...

I was just telling my friends the other day about the man who came to quote for new vinyl in.my kitchen on Wednesday morning. I still haven't received the quote probably due to the fact he doesn't want the job in the first place but he did ask me whether I was just out of bed as he gazed distastefully at the state of my 'bedhead'! My boss is very posh and builders,plumbers,electricians come running at a hat's-drop as and when required. Watch a lot of Downton Abbey and practise your plummet accent!

Nana Go-Go said...

'Plummy' accent! ffs! Lol x