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Home Designer Musings – Builders

Home Designer Musings – Builders

I am an experienced Architect and Home Designer.  I believe, from experience, when you ask the right questions you get a better understanding of the person you are speaking to.  Far instance.  We are working on an extensive remodel and extension of a home in Cheshire.  Before the Client appointed PS9 Architects in Manchester they talked to several builders and decided they liked one in particular.  The builder offered a one stop shop, design and build service.

The project was a major investment for the Client and they wanted to protect their home and the financial investment.  They appointed Architects and Home Designer PS9 Architects in Manchester to provide a design and project management service.

Home Designer Checks

When it was time to select a builder the Client asked us to consider the builder who they were happy with before appointing us.  We carried out a through background check on the builder in question which raised some interesting points:

  • The builder was presenting themselves as a limited company.  A check with companies house found no company registered with UK Government department.
  • We found the full name and address of the builder who  had several CCJ
  • We established a story from several sources that he had stopped trading

As an Architect and home designer I am always willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt.  Also, the Client was happy to work with them and that is always an important factor.  I spoke to the builder, I explained who I was and who gave me his telephone number.  Following an enthusiastic sales patter where he stated he would be interested in the project.  I asked him about the following:

  • Insurance
  • Contracts
  • Payments
  • Warranties

As soon as I asked him about the above four points he stated he would not be interested in the job.  His excuse, he would be working for the Architect and home designer and not the Client.  He also stated he had his own approved building inspectors and that I (the Architect) would not be required.

What does this tell us.

  • He probably does not have insurance, especially contractors all risk insurance.
  • He does not like to use contracts.  A building contract is there to protect the interest of the Employer (Client/ Home Owner) ie he wants the builder to carry out the works as described on the drawings and the builder who will be paid `x amount of money` for building the Employers project.  Contracts also cover what happens when their is a dispute.
  • It also suggest he wanted control over the finances of the project.  The Employer could pay excessively more than they needed to.
  • More disturbing was the builders statement that he had his own approved inspector.  At this stage I was thinking he likes to be the one in control and make it up as he goes along.  What do you think would happen when the builder finishes the building and it does not comply with best practice and the Approved Documents of the Building Regulations.  I suspect his approved inspector would turn a blind eye.

In this instance I believe the Client had a lucky escape.  They could have ended up here.

Manchester Architect and home designer, PS9:Architects in Manchester, understand the importance of protecting the interest of our Clients.  When working on a homeowners property the Client should not have to worry about the progress of their project.  That’s what you pay your Architect for.  Finding the right Architect and home designer will safe you aggravation in the long run.

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