Putting your project out for tender is when a homeowner looks to secure the services of a contractor.
It’s an important part of any project, whether that’s renovation, conversion, or extending. Get it right, and you’ll have a contractor that’s ideal for your home, and will help make your plans a reality. But get it wrong, and it can lead to nightmare scenarios of poor craftsmanship, lost finances, and incomplete work.
To make sure you stay in the right lane, here’s our best tendering advice…
When to go out for tender
You can go out for tender as soon as you’ve settled on a design for your project.
That being said, we recommend waiting until you’ve sorted out your building regulations. That’s because, in order to gain building regulations approval, you need to supply your local authority with detailed drawings of your upcoming project, covering…
- Fire safety
To name just a few!
With all these details in hand, your perspective contractors will be able to provide not only more accurate quotes, but they’ll also be able to build with confidence, knowing the ins and out of your project’s requirements.
Choosing your prospective contractors
It’s recommended that you have at least three quotes when it comes to choosing your contractor. To make sure you get these three, we would suggest approaching five or more contractors.
If you’re looking for a place to start when it comes to finding a contractor, it’s best to approach family and friends for their recommendations. Remember, you don’t need a license or any other kind of qualification to be a contractor, so it’s important to find a professional that’s trustworthy.
If recommendations aren’t coming your way, don’t panic. Another good option is to look for contractors that are with the FBM - Federation of Master Builders. By joining this organisation, a contractor agrees to uphold a set of standards, and are more likely to provide quality work.
At Resi, we also offer our own recommendation service called Connect. Our connect service will put you in touch with the best contractors and suppliers in your area, all vetted by our team, making sure you’re in safe hands for the next stage of your home journey.
What you’ll need to supply
As we’ve touched on, your best bet for an accurate quote is to supply the elements that went into your building regulations package. Such as…
- Architect plans, printed to scale
- Detailed drawings
- Any drawings or calculations from the structural engineer
On top of these essentials, you’ll also want to establish your expectations on how the construction takes place. This includes how the project should be finished, along with the early groundwork.
With this is mind, here’s some extra bits of information you might want to supply in order to get consistent quotes…
- What works are required
- How you want those works carried out
- What materials you expect to be used
- Expected timeline of construction
- Payment plan on offer
Evaluating the company
Once you’ve approached a selection of contractors, it’s time to review your proposed quotes and businesses. Whether you look into the company before or after getting a quote, these are the things you’ll want to consider…
- Have they evidence of their public and employers liability insurance
- Details of their health & safety policy and record
- A bank reference
- Professional reference, such as one from an architect or structural engineer
- Customer reference - if you can, visit a property they’ve worked on
- How long have they been established? The longer the better
- Employees or subcontractors used
Evaluating your quote
Happy with your pick of professionals, it is time to look at the prices you have been quoted.
- Is there one price that is dramatically different from the others? How is this justified?
- Has budget been considered for unforeseeable delays or accidents?
- How are materials being priced?
- Is the company able to fund the project, or are they looking for an upfront payment?
- Try to shortlist your two favourites
- If undecided, hold an interview
- Go through the agreed contract thoroughly
- Provide feedback to all unsuccessful tenderers
For help in reviewing your contract, you can see common mistakes homeowners make in this advice article. You can also find our tips on how to avoid cowboy builders.