Think carefully about those you employ – getting the right professional advice and tradesmen can often make or break your project.
Architects and surveyors
Agree how much responsibility your architect or surveyor will have at the beginning of the project. Particularly whether you’ll need both Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval. You should also check if their quote covers any amendments needed to get the approval as well as any supervisory or contract management services.
Also think about:
- Do they belong to a recognised professional institution
- Are they part of a local practice?
- What kind of projects have they worked on recently and can they provide examples/references from these?
Once the designs are finished, it’s best to get your application for Planning Permission and/or Building Regulations approval sent in as soon as possible, so you have all the consents you need before the work starts.
Where to find one
You can look for a suitable architect or surveyor in the local papers, through online search engines, ratings sites and from professional membership bodies. You can also ask friends and family if they have any recommendations.
- find a local architect through Local Architects Direct
- find an architect through the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) or the Architects Registration Board (ARB)
- find a surveyor through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
- find a party wall surveyor through the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors (FPWS) or Pyramus & Thisbe Club (P&T)
Find out as much as possible at the start of a project about the builder you choose, agree exactly what they are going to do for you and at what cost. It’s a good idea to get a recommendation or take up references before agreeing to any work, under a suitable contract.
- tips for choosing a builder from the National Federation of Builders
These sites are for information only - we do not endorse any of the companies or individuals:
- search for a builder in Kingston upon Thames with MyBuilder.com
- search for a builder from the Federation of Master Builders
Pre-contract advice on building projects
For more advice on home improvement projects visit the Citizens Advice website for information and guidance on choosing a suitable trader.
If things do not go according to plan with your building project
Sometimes building projects do not run smoothly, prices increase deadlines shift or the work may not be of a quality you expected.
Always speak with your builder to try to resolve the problems first.
However, if you are still not satisfied with the work; for help and advice on your consumer rights call the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 040506 or visit their website.
Where there are serious problems and there are allegations of rogue trading or fraud, CAC will pass your details to your local Trading Standards service for their consideration