Builder required

Can anyone recommend a builder for the following works

Repair / replace roof
repair and re-paint windows

thanks

Hi @chamonix - we have an existing topic of recommendations here: Builder / home renovation recommendations

Please could you try those and let us know if you encounter one that’s out of date?

i did look but the last recommendations are 2017

It would be helpful to know if any of them need to be removed because they’re no longer in business.

I’m actually surprised we haven’t had any builder recommendations since 2017… maybe there is an older thread that didn’t get combined that you looked at? Chris’ one has comments from end 2019?

looks like most of the recent recommendations are around internal building work

I’d like to add that whilst I’ve had one good experience with a recommended trade from here I’ve also had quite a few bad experiences with some of them for various different work. This was work all done recently too.

So do take any recommendations with a pinch of salt as not everyone receives the same quality of work.

We’ve had ridiculously over-priced work and completely sloppy work (which was expensive) that has needed re-doing 3 times and we’re now so fed up we’re going to pay to get another trade in to rectify.

Check a trade is quite a good solution if you want work done quickly with good recommendations.

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Thanks I used check a trade last time so maybe I’ll use that again.

Please help us keep our recommendations up to date. If you’ve had a good or bad experience, please post it to the forum.

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I would like to add that we did have Gerry @Gmac around recently to do some plumbing work for us and he was absolutely brilliant! We got his recommendation from here. Top Irish guy! So he needs to stay in the recommended list, can’t recommend him enough!

We contacted another plumber that was recommended on here who took our call once and then decided to ignored our calls when we had emergency work and he was highly recommended by a lot of people on here… :grimacing:

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Sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through.

How can we improve recommendations for our members in cases like this?

Checkatred and MyBuilder are just money spinners. Pay the fee and anyone can get on there. Before I sold my car and concentrated on site work after moving to London all my private work came through word-of-mouth and previous clients were often happy for interested parties to ask about my work over the phone and in one case actually see it in the flesh. Also please consider that what seems quite a high price is because the builder believes they’re worth it based on their reputation (local and beyond) or they put an extra zero on because they don’t want the job but if push comes to shove they’ll do it for a high price because to them it’s an ache in the balls. Local handymen might seem like an attractive option because they’ll price it on a day rate but I’ve had to rectify work because the handyman got out of his depth. Not saying there isn’t a place for handymen because they fill a gap in the market but if you need structural work done you need a professional who can build off the drawings and be left on their own to get on with the job. All the best.

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Very true! Maybe it’s because of the current economic climate, maybe it’s because stay at home workers are giving tradespeople lots of work so they can be fussy and inflate costs. But it seems like we are currently “backed into a corner” paying over the odds to get a job done by a trade. I work in construction and know very well what these trades should be (on average) charging and it’s astronomical what they are quoting. They are either pushing their luck or in such demand that they can get away with those costs.

@ChrisBeach I’m not quite sure what can be done to improve the recommendations. As we know one person’s experience can differ from another’s. A rating system? It seems quite harsh though to be publicly critiquing their performance on a platform that they aren’t personally using for advertisement.

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On the tools or in the office? Something clients are prone to overlooking is that it takes a lot of experience to build and if the builder is worth his salt his price is going to reflect that. Before I sold my Astra car/van I built a garden wall in Crystal Palace and took my time on the corners and piers. The wife took exception to this and commented along the lines of: “Is that all you’ve done?”. On the second day the speed and accuracy came into play that has taken years of practice on site and I finished building it all on the second day. They were impressed and I got a boundary wall on their recommendation. The motto here is that a client can pay less but more often that not will have to build twice. If a builder is recommended and has a consistent track record you’re going to have to pay for it.

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I find Checkatrade useful in that it shows the company type and liability insurance with some other bits. For ltd companies it gives the company number through which you can find the owners details, and for insurance it shows the insurer and amount. There’s less info on sole traders, but it does show if they are VAT registered at least. Of course this was only checked at a certain point.

So it may not be perfect, but there’s plenty of trades that seem to be ran from little more than a mobile phone number and a website. Having accidentally used such a recommended business in the past, I didn’t feel good when the work wasn’t done correctly and I’d not noticed until I’d already paid handsomely for the privilege. Fortunately they did answer the phone the next day and came back to fix their error, though wanted more money.

I’m afraid I hate dealing with tradespeople. There’s far too many fly-by night charlatans out there, and anyone good is often busy weeks in advance.

I think gas may be a sight exception due to some amount of regulation and the GasSafe register. The same should apply for electricians, but doesn’t seem to.

One up-side of all this is that having seen how eager tradespeople can be to hack up bits of my house in the name of repair, I’ve gained more confidence in my own DIY abilities. I may not be as fast, but I am careful and tidy :slight_smile:

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Here’s an example: I was working for a brickwork subbie in Beckenham and the external skin (face work) was built with Yellow Stock and some of the bricks looked like they’d been trodden on before being fired in the kiln. Keeping track of the bond became such a concern that the foreman took several bricks out of the pack and sent photographic examples to the developer explaining that we couldn’t keep the bond owing to the fact that some bricks differed in size by up to 40 millimetres (a wire-cut brick will always be uniform - 215mm in length). They didn’t care and if you go to Thayers Farm Road in Beckenham (just a minute’s walk from Clock House station) you’ll see some shocking brickwork. We tried but we simply couldn’t keep the bond on the Yellow Stocks because they’d bought the cheapest bricks going that matched the local housing stock.

Do you mean like this one, off of the Google:

No, it’s the block of flats besides Beckenham road tram stop.

So you’re a site agent, then?