Don't make these mistakes when choosing a builder in London.
Updated: Jun 3
Before I married a tradesman, I followed the Polish philosophy "Renovation is like war. Never pleasant, Always unpredictable and should be avoided at all costs".
Yet, here I am, running 1-3 construction projects every month. Going by our online reviews, we are doing a pretty good job of it. But if you can't hire us to refurbish your bathroom, kitchen or house, you might still want to know what NOT TO DO when choosing the people who will help you transform your home.
This are the blunders you came for. The five deadly sins, which will always give you grief in the long run. If you've committed one of the five mistakes below, my guess is you aren't super happy right now.
CHOSING THE RIGHT BUILDER
Too many contractors.
Sometimes you think you're being clever by choosing different contractors for each little bit of a larger renovation. But this opens up a can of worms, especially if the different parts belong to a larger project. Firstly if something goes wrong, the different contractors might end up blaming each other. If there is only one company who is doing your project, it is their job to to sort the problems out. If there is more than one contractor, it can be harder to just arrange things to happen in a continuous fashion.
Use just one platform when searching.
When even word of mouth can be misleading, you should never just trust one platform. A proper company has a continuous digital presence and foot print. They didn't just appear last night in your local Facebook group. They have reviews in more than one place. I've also heard countless stories from tradespeople, how easy it is to get "verified" on various third party sites (such as checkatrade etc) as long as you pay a hefty monthly fee. Some of these sites even delete negative reviews. This doesn't mean that the builder has to have only five star reviews or that it isn't possible for some to fake them, but it's hard to fake it all, everywhere. Hence, why I am advocating using different platforms in your search..
Try to tick off at least 4 of these platforms:
Choose a company without or with a poor social media presence
One of the worst signs is if they only have a website but no social media.
As website content is created by the owner, they can create their own story. Nowadays, you can fake anything, including history. But you can't fake authenticity and consistency on social media: If you can see that the business regularly posts their own real (not templates or stock photos) content, you can tell that they have a turnover and a business. Gone are the days where there was just the phone book business pages and newspaper ads. Use the resources available to you.
Do it yourself.
Even if you watch Youtube videos the whole half term, get the whole summer to do the actual work and are a surprisingly talented DIY'er. You will no doubt find yourself at Christmas staring at that annoying little bit that you didn't get quite right. You would be surprised how much decades of experience and a wage helps in getting stuff done efficiently. All according to Health & Safety and all that.
Going for the cheapest quote
It should be obvious that you get what you pay for. Do it once, do it right. I always advise prospective clients to get three different quotes. It can be time consuming, but it does help you gain information about what you intend to do. Also, it's important to remember that the job one contractor wants to do, is different from another. You might have more options than you think!
So there you have it. My advice on what mistakes not to make. Check out our Google reviews, Facebook or Instagram to learn more about the Sultans. We work mainly in North London but can and do travel further afield for the right projects. You can also head straight to our Quote Request Form, if you have completed your research.