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    • phill99
    • By phill99 15th Apr 19, 11:18 AM
    • 8,396 Posts
    • 7,584 Thanks
    phill99
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:18 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:18 AM
    TBH The good builders are booked up for a reason. The guys that tend to be on paid for listing websites are mainly those that are struggling for work.


    That should be enough for you to formulate your own answer.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 15th Apr 19, 11:24 AM
    • 3,619 Posts
    • 2,628 Thanks
    EssexExile
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:24 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:24 AM
    Look for similar work going on locally, knock & ask how it's going, what do they think of their builder?
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 15th Apr 19, 12:21 PM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 2,352 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 19, 12:21 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 19, 12:21 PM
    Get word of mouth reviews from people you know. Many of those sites cannot be trusted.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 15th Apr 19, 1:25 PM
    • 26,619 Posts
    • 71,439 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 19, 1:25 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 19, 1:25 PM
    I can understand why those sites might be useful for a decorator who has lots and lots of little jobs over the course of a year, but for 50k projects, most builders get more enquiries for work than they can handle in a year.

    A personal recommendation is good for both you and the builder.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 16th Apr 19, 4:37 AM
    • 990 Posts
    • 385 Thanks
    Risteard
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 4:37 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 4:37 AM
    So... would joining facebook be the best way to find a builder and tradesman do you think?
    Originally posted by gabriel73195
    No. It definitely wouldn't.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 16th Apr 19, 6:16 AM
    • 26,619 Posts
    • 71,439 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 6:16 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 6:16 AM
    Thank you Doozergirl and thank you everybody who gave me a message! I've started to read through the posts about those sites here and I notice many people saying that they feel the reviews are "fake" and manipulated. Well as I've seen people openly and regularly advertising to write false reviews I can quite believe they are often not genuine.

    So... would joining facebook be the best way to find a builder and tradesman do you think?
    Originally posted by gabriel73195
    Some towns have genuinely good community groups where people ask for, and receive, recommendations.
    A lot of people recommend themselves, which defeats the object.

    In fact, my very local 'recommendations' page is just full of the same self-serving idiots recommending themselves. So I wouldn't recommend a 'recommendations' page

    Where I come from, though, and another area I'm currently working in, have more general community groups which are more helpful. Te chat is about anything and everything. We actually found our new plumber when I saw his name recommended by a friend of ours on a group. Did a bit of research and it turns out we have a huge number of mutual friends. The more general the page, the more genuine the conversation, I think. But you MUST do your due diligence - go and visit those people recommending a person and see what they've had done! Check other references via phone or email, ask for photos.

    Organise stage payments based on work actually done, get things agreed in writing, blah, blah...
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Kiran
    • By Kiran 16th Apr 19, 8:18 AM
    • 1,244 Posts
    • 557 Thanks
    Kiran
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:18 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:18 AM
    Ok, couple of questions,

    How do you know it's 50k worth of work?
    Who gave you this estimate?
    If I was to hazard a guess you've had an architect draw up some plans and that the figure they've given you?
    If that's correct ask them for a couple of names of builders. Proceed with caution as you don't know what back handers could be going on here but you are no more at risk that picking a name out of the hat on mybuilder etc. You still need to feel them out and do due diligence. Most importantly agree a realistic payment schedule that doesn't leave you exposed.


    Personal recommendations are the best way to source reliable trades but in the absence of those see who you can find working in your local area, make visits to their jobs, speak to their previous customers and trust your gut.
    Some people don't exaggerate........... They just remember big!
    • ka7e
    • By ka7e 16th Apr 19, 10:40 AM
    • 2,385 Posts
    • 1,923 Thanks
    ka7e
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:40 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:40 AM
    I caught out a fraudster posting fake pictures of past work on mybuilder etc and FB - use Google reverse-image search to check pictures (including profile pics) are genuine.
    "Cheap", "Fast", "Right" -- pick two.
    • LandyAndy
    • By LandyAndy 16th Apr 19, 10:56 AM
    • 24,667 Posts
    • 51,988 Thanks
    LandyAndy
    For a 50k project are you using an architect? I had a similar sized job a couple of years ago.

    My architect gave me a list of local builders that he had worked with and would be happy to work with again. I put my project out to three of them and got someone who proved to be very good.
    • naf123
    • By naf123 16th Apr 19, 12:22 PM
    • 1,291 Posts
    • 1,319 Thanks
    naf123
    For a 50k project are you using an architect? I had a similar sized job a couple of years ago.

    My architect gave me a list of local builders that he had worked with and would be happy to work with again. I put my project out to three of them and got someone who proved to be very good.
    Originally posted by LandyAndy
    you would be surprised how quickly 50K goes in London on just a general refurb, rewire, replumb and new kitchen . No need for architect.

    To the OP - what sort of works do you need doing?
    • BananaRepublic
    • By BananaRepublic 16th Apr 19, 12:30 PM
    • 1,350 Posts
    • 955 Thanks
    BananaRepublic
    These trade list sites are IMO best avoided. They are all to often used by trades who either lack experience and need to build up a customer database (they might be good), or who are not very good and cannot get work by word of mouth. The worst part is that the trade is the client and not you. The trade pays a good amount of money to appear on the list, and you are the product that they are buying.

    Generally they say to find someone recommended by others you trust, but make sure they are not recommending a family member. I once asked in a good kitchen shop for the name of a good tiler and he did a decent job. Also look around your area at signs outside houses, if you see the same person time and time again, there may be a good reason for it. Where I live I kept seeing signs for a company called Trojan who do driveways, and goodness knows how many drives have now been done by them. They look good, so I assume they are, and were I to want my drive done, I'd probably choose them and not the builder used by a neighbour two doors down who lived on a travellers site. That neighbour had a history of employing bad trades.
    • phill99
    • By phill99 16th Apr 19, 7:05 PM
    • 8,396 Posts
    • 7,584 Thanks
    phill99
    No. It definitely wouldn't.
    Originally posted by Risteard
    Disagree completely.


    I get around 25% of my 'cold' leads via Facebook and I never advertise on it. It's just that there are a couple of local groups where I constantly get recommended, to a point where I have had to ask the 'recommenders' to stop recommending me as I don't have capacity.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • naf123
    • By naf123 16th Apr 19, 8:29 PM
    • 1,291 Posts
    • 1,319 Thanks
    naf123
    Well this is the frightening thing about building work. I actually underestimated the cost of some of the work when I first started but in my defence we did uncover additional things that I didn't know needed to be done.

    It's frightening that out of 3 good builders. Builder A, Builder B and Builder C they can all give you quotes for exactly the same job and they can be as far apart as say 30k, 40k and 75K all for the exact same job!

    So this means that just by choosing the right builder you save all that money or avoid wasting money.

    For someone like me who isn't earning very much this thread could help me save more money than I earn in a year! I mean I tried to do it cheaply last year and it ended in disaster, my investment property has been empty and unused for a long time.

    So I need kitchen completely plastered with floor tiled and electrics put in
    1 x living room plastered to include all walls and ceiling (Plasterboard)
    1 x upstairs bathroom which

    All the three rooms are stripped back to the bare bones

    I need probably 5 days or plumbing work and 5 days of electrical work (Just ball park figures)
    Originally posted by gabriel73195
    I don't know where you live but if it's just 3 rooms , with minimal plumbing works and a rewire of the kitchen , it shouldn't cost more than 20 to 25k.

    Can you project manage yourself ? Are you able to buy materials and do heavy lifting? Are you able to gut it yourself ?
    • naf123
    • By naf123 16th Apr 19, 9:36 PM
    • 1,291 Posts
    • 1,319 Thanks
    naf123
    Hey Na123, yes I am able to do that. Project manage to a point, I'd certainly be their everyday with tea, coffee and yes I've got trade accounts to get what's needed.
    Thanks for the price. You don't live in Essex do you? If you know anybody in Essex who wants a building job then let me know
    Originally posted by gabriel73195
    Not Essex - I'm north London . If it's approx 25k in London it should be even cheaper in Essex !

    I actually, contrary to popular opinion, pay my tradesmen a daily rate and provide all the material and take away rubble etc . Very very hard work but I feel in complete control of the situation and I tell my tradesmen exactly what I want doing .

    It's not always cheaper but at least there is no short cuts and a proper job is done .....and you need to be absolutely devoted and have nerves of steel and know exactly what needs doing .
    • naf123
    • By naf123 16th Apr 19, 10:10 PM
    • 1,291 Posts
    • 1,319 Thanks
    naf123
    Are you a regular builder then? I think that's a good plan because to my way of thinking if someone is on a fixed rate then they've got an implicit tension because if they can justify taking a cheaper and perhaps inferior way of doing a job they're going to do it. They've no incentive to take the proper amount of time to do the job properly. I've heard many many storeys of corners getting cut for these types of reasons. Plus there's never any argument about cost of the job, you don't have to re asses everything every-time a bit of extra work turns up.
    Originally posted by gabriel73195
    Not a builder. I'm actually university educated and work in office job! But I'm handy and absolutely love DIY

    Re- Managing your tradesmen and paying daily rates - you have to absolutely remember they are ultimately human e.g. don't get too annoyed if they keep taking ciggies breaks - just look at the bigger picture.
    • phill99
    • By phill99 17th Apr 19, 3:54 PM
    • 8,396 Posts
    • 7,584 Thanks
    phill99
    Hey Na123, yes I am able to do that. Project manage to a point, I'd certainly be their everyday with tea, coffee and yes I've got trade accounts to get what's needed.
    Thanks for the price. You don't live in Essex do you? If you know anybody in Essex who wants a building job then let me know
    Originally posted by gabriel73195
    Where abouts in Essex? It's a big county.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
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