Questions to ask
Questions to Ask
When Choosing a Builder
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Questions to ask

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Choosing a builder – key questions that you should ask

Is the builder genuine, suitable and qualified for your project?

Reputation and experience matter. An established builder who has built a strong reputation will be recognised within the local market and community. Speak to customers who have completed projects comparable to your own. Did the builder manage quality, cost and time? Consider references from other professionals such as local architects. The builder should have trade membership of relevant professional organisations, suitable insurances, be able to offer a contract and relevant guarantees.

How does the builder approach setting standards for craftsmanship, products and materials?

Company philosophy counts. Quality work is only achieved through quality materials, sound construction methods and skilled craftsmen. Who will take responsibility for joining these elements together? Attitudes of craftsmen, foremen and managers will be reflected in all stages of your project. Some you might never see, so you need to be sure that your builder is a professional partner with an instinct for quality and transparency, not shortcuts. (According to the Office of Fair Trading, cowboy builders cost UK households a staggering £1.6bn (approximately) in shoddy workmanship that has to be rectified).

Do the quotes offer comparable products and service?

The more thorough and detailed your quotation, the more able you are to choose how (and on what) you spend your money. Discuss the details to ensure you know what is and what isn’t included. Be sure you are comparing apples with apples.

Will my project stay within my budget and time constraints?

Your builder should provide a complete breakdown of costs and a target programme for your project at the tendering stage. Most projects require some tailoring along the way to allow for unseen changes in the programme but your builder should account to you for these, explain how they will affect the project and allow you choice at all times.

Does the builder’s reputation translate into value?

A builder’s additional skills and knowledge are an asset to you. Can he communicate knowledgably with the architect and engineer, and offer useful suggestions? Is he is open to innovation, staying current with the latest advances in products and practices? Does he incorporate energy-efficient and green practices into his work?

How should I pay my builder?

Payments terms should be agreed clearly in writing. Expect to make stage/milestone payments, but not upfront payments for uncompleted work. The exception to this may be for custom-made, pre-ordered products.

The Chartered Institute of Building

When it comes to choosing the right builder for your project, there’s no doubt that the key to success is working with a professional company you can trust and rely on.

The Martin Sewell Building Company prides itself on the fact that, over the years, its experience, high standards and honest approach have resulted in the firm earning its place as a Chartered Building Company and member of the highly regarded Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

So, how does this benefit you as a client?

By choosing a Chartered Building Company you can guarantee that, whatever the size and type of project, your builder has the professionalism, resources and commitment to meet your requirements safely and efficiently. All Chartered Building Companies are bound by a comprehensive Code of Professional Conduct committing them to quality of service, integrity of conduct and an overriding concern for your best interest at all times.

By choosing The Martin Sewell Building Company, you can expect:

  • Professionalism throughout, from initial enquiry to the satisfactory completion of their working brief
  • Quality of service and attention to detail
  • Speed, efficiency and integrity
  • Value for money
  • Fully-trained and competent people working for you
  • Compliance with statutory codes and good building practice
  • Any problems that arise will be dealt with promptly, courteously and efficiently
  • Integrity in construction


“We regard earning and retaining our membership of the Chartered Institute of Building as a privilege,” explains Martin Sewell. “It means our clients can be confident that they’re working with a company that adheres to globally-recognised standards of best practice in management, professionalism and competent behaviour. The result is peace of mind from the moment they make that initial enquiry to the completion of the project.”

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To make your dream building project a reality, please get in touch.

Call us now to discuss any project you may have. The Martin Sewell Building Company, quality builders, Chichester.

The Martin Sewell Building Company Limited, Hungerdown House, Brittens Lane, Fontwell, West Sussex BN18 0ST

Telephone: 01243 542056



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