Why Choosing a Builder shouldn’t be all about the Price

choosing a builder for home extension

It’s human nature to want to find a bargain and get the best deal you can, and this is no different when choosing a builder to building an extension or a loft conversion. However where your home is concerned, cheapest is not always best.

We’ve all seen those programmes about ‘cowboy’ builders and how they cut corners to do a job as cheaply as possible. They ofter result in serious consequences for the person whose home they’re working on.

In the UK there are certain minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to almost any building. These are governed by the Building Regulations 2010 (supported by Approved Documents detailing practical compliance guidance).

Building Regulations cover the construction and extension of buildings and are different from planning permission (you may need to get both planning permission and Building Regulations approval). When you appoint a builder it is normally their responsibility to ensure work complies with the regulations.  However if for some reason they fail to meet their obligations you will ultimately be the one who faces an enforcement notice for non-compliance. You will also be liable to make any alterations necessary to ensure Building Regulations are met.

In order to get Building Regulations approval the project will have to be verified independently either by the local authority or by a privately appointed Approved Inspector.

Choosing a Builder like Cox Format

Loft conversion building project in North London

Cox Format will only build to a specification that a local authority licensed building inspector has approved. We won’t even start work on a project until it has been reviewed and signed off. This isn’t true of some other building firms, which could lead to all sorts of complications for you further down the road if Building Regulations approval isn’t given. Most reputable builders have an order book and commit to work in advance, some 3-6 months. Builders that can start ‘tomorrow’ or very quickly following the initial contact are generally not busy for a reason.

Construction projects in the UK are also subject to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) which manage health, safety and welfare. Cox Format also comply with these regulations and as soon as a project gets underway we issue a risk assessment and action plan specific to your project.

Safety is always a priority

Safety is obviously one of the most important considerations when it comes to your home, particularly with regards fire protection. Not only is it important to prevent fire spreading or slow its progress as much as possible, but structures also need to be built to stand up to fire without burning and/or collapsing. This allows enough time for anyone inside to escape. For example plasterboard and plaster create a fire barrier for industry standard and approved Celotex insulation. This is the material we use when building loft conversions to give it the required half hour or hour fire protection as required by law.

choosing an experienced building firm

No one wants their builder to cut corners when it comes to safety in their home, but unfortunately many builders will do so in order to be able to provide the cheapest possible quote. There are images and information online that make it clear that sometimes underweight steel beams with no fire protection are used and that CDM regulations aren’t being complied with. Unfortunately choosing a builder on price alone means that you may well be excluding those that have priced sensibly in order to ensure they’re able to work within the Building Regulations and CDM2015.

Don’t take a chance when it comes to your home and your family. Choosing a builder with a realistic quote and a good reputation will pay off in the long run.

Cox Format Developments are a WHICH Trusted Trader.