The top 10 ways to annoy your builder

A property refurbishment can only succeed if you and your builder work as a team

Builders get a very hard time in some circles

Numerous internet sites are awash with people complaining my builder is no good

Or I have fallen out with my builder

The complaints are endless

People blame their builder for every single thing that goes wrong

But dig deeper and all is often not as it seems

What they are describing is a team of a professional builder and an amateur client

Before you accuse your builder of being incompetent ask yourself if you are a competent client

If you want your builder to succeed , then you need to help him not annoy him

You can do this in a lot of ways

We are sure there are many builders who could give us their top 50

But here are the top 10 ways to annoy your builder that we have seen


1 Haggle with him over price

This isn’t the marketplace where he goes high , you go low, then meet in the middle. He is providing a service and there is a price. He couldn’t care less if the other builder said he could do it for less. Why didn’t you choose the other builder then? Are you looking for a  Cheap Builder or a good builder?

2 Pick n mix from his quote

You might be happy with him doing the bulk of the work. But you want your family to do parts of it. Or you want to get your own carpenter or plumber. That is going to play havoc with his planning. He has a supply chain for labour that he knows well. He is giving you a price for a complete job. Its not a wish list for you to choose the best items from. You cant  Pick n Mix from his quote the bits you like

3 Try and project manage the job yourself

Unless you are a project manager by profession leave it alone. The builder does this for a living and knows what needs to happen in what order. There are benefits to using a project manager to act on your behalf. But if you think it would be good experience to do it yourself, think again. All you will do is hold up the work. And annoy everyone by asking stupid questions. You wont think they are stupid. And as the person paying for the job you will feel entitled to ask them. But to everyone else they will be stupid questions from someone who calls themselves a project manager

4 Drip feed him information

Before the job even starts the builder should have everything he needs. Scope of works, technical information, Specification documents, designs, drawings and programme. He shouldn’t have to be chasing you for things because you haven’t decided what you want or haven’t chased up answers. He needs all these things in advance so he can plan the complete project. Its no good giving him the kitchen layout the day before the kitchen is delivered

5 Ask for free extras

Once the work starts don’t ask for free extras. Maybe the cost of the refurb is 30K. You might think that asking for 2 extra downlights in the kitchen is nothing. But even if they cost £20 don’t expect them for free

6 Buy materials yourself and don’t deliver them

If you are going to order certain things yourself make sure you get them delivered on time. People usually do this to try and save money. If the builder has agreed to that then that’s fine. But if you don’t get them there on time you could cause delays to the job. And cause extra costs. This just makes things harder for the builder. If you have done this to save money its unlikely you will want to absorb the extra costs and pay the builder downtime. Just remember there are risks buying materials yourself .The next thing you will be saying is I have fallen out with my builder

7 Keep changing your mind

Every time you change your mind once a job has started, will cause delays and extra costs. Before a project starts there are  benefits of having a feasibility study   carried out before your project starts. This is the point when it will be the cheapest to make changes. Even if you agree to pay your builder for changes it will still make his job harder. The downside for you is it will lead to Scope Creep and margin creep

8 Mess him around with money

There is nothing that is going to annoy your builder more then this. You will find you get a far better performance from your builder if you pay him on time. If there is some piece of work you don’t like then raise it with him immediately. But if you are happy with his work then there is no reason why you should be slow to pay. It’s a good idea to use a contract on a refurb project. Payment terms should be clearly stated in it. If they are then stick to them

9 Turning up on the job all the time

If you do this the builder will get the feeling you are spying on him. If you don’t trust him and feel the need to go there everyday , why did you hire him? Turning up on site without warning will just stop the work. You don’t want to be causing delays on your own project. Site visits should be agreed in advance. And they should be at a time that will cause the least disruption to the job

10 Giving him advice from others

The builder doesn’t want to hear what your friend thinks. He doesn’t care if one of your family says he is taking too long. Once he has started leave him to it. He knows the spec and the programme, so as long as he gets the project finished on time that’s all that matters


If you need help with any aspects of a project please Contact Us

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