5 Questions to Ask Your Builder Before You Hire

Getting the builders in for a renovation, extension or a new home build can be both an exciting, and stressful time - depending on how well-prepared you are. Although you may not be doing the hard work yourself, you still need to take precautions if you want to ensure that you're getting a professional builder to handle your project - rather than just another cowboy builder.

Remember that a good, reputable builder can remove a lot of the frustration and potential for risk that can exist within any home renovation experience, whereas a bad one can drain your resources and leave you with an empty budget and unfinished home. 

Thankfully, at OnlineTraesmen.ie we remove the stress for you by only allowing qualified tradesmen to join our service and providing an open ratings system with real feedback from other home owners about each of our members. It allows you to literally separate the 5 star (good) builders from the 1 star (bad builders) and compare their pricing side by side.

You can get free quotes from local qualified builders for your project here. But if you still want to go it alone, here are some questions you should ask your builder before you hire them…

Question 1: Are You Accredited?

Tradesmen Qualification


Seems obvious, right? In practice very few home owners ask to see a builders formal qualifications. When asked they might be placated by seeing a list of references, a certificate of insurance or some other paper work – but these are not the same thing.

In Ireland we have been producing a high standard of trade professionals from our formal apprenticeship system for decades. Undertaking an apprenticeship means that the trade professional has to undergo 4 years of practical on-the ground training under the guidance of an approved trainer and a number of college-based learning modules. At the end of it they get a national craft certificate or similar. Thereafter they may choose to undertake additional accreditations through an industry body.

With all that training in place, it is crazy that more home owners don’t ask them for proof of their qualifications to separate the skilled ones from the not-so-skilled builders. Get a free quote from a qualified builder for your project.

Thankfully at OnlineTradesmen.ie all our builder members have to hold a formal accreditation to join – so we have taken all that additional background checking for you.

Question 2: Can I Have a Written Quotation?

Builders Quote

When trying to keep costs down and ensure you get the job done well, make sure that you don't simply accept a verbal assurance that your project is going to cost "about" a certain amount.

Request a written quotation for exactly how much you should be expected to pay, before any work gets underway. Often, this will mean starting with an estimate that you can agree to with your builder, or make changes to depending on the work that needs to be done, the date of completion, and so on. Get free quotes from builders now.

Question 3: Are You Insured?

Tradesmen Insurace

Before you hire your builder, ask them to provide you with a current certificate of public liability insurance at a minimum. All risks insurance cover is even better. This will ensure that any accidents that occur are claimable under their insurance policy rather than your home insurance or from you personally.

It may not seem necessary at first - particularly if the builder you're dealing with appears to be trustworthy - but it's a good safety net to have in place. Builders can get free tradesmen insurance quotes here.

Question 4: Can I view Recent Projects?

Tradesmen Builders References

How can you tell whether a builder is right for you without checking out the work that they've previously done?

With any luck, your builder should be able to show you images of the projects they've recently completed, as well as giving you information for referrals should you need them. At OnlineTradesmen.ie all our members are provided with a full website to showcase photos of their previous work all in one place. Get a quote here and see all photos of all available builders work. It's free!

By looking at photos of their completed work, you'll be able to see for yourself whether the builder in question is capable of achieving the sort of results you want for your own home.

Where possible, speak to some of their previous clients before you commit. This way, you'll be able to access valuable feedback about the customer service you can expect, and the level of satisfaction derived from previous customers.

Question 5: Sign a home improvement contract.

Home improvement contract


Ok, you got us! It’s not a question, but it is a necessity for any medium to large scale jobs

A home improvement contract will cover all sorts of tangible and intangible deliverables for your project including timeframes, payment terms, materials to be used, warranties and what happens in the event of any disputes. So please make sure you have one. To make it easy for you we’ve created a free home improvement contract template that you can download here.

We’ll sign off by reminding you that you can fast track the whole process by getting frees quotes from one of our qualified builders from your PC or phone. You’ll still need to make sure you are personally happy to hire them but we take out all the hassle from the traditional process for you. You’re welcome !!


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