Simple way to avoid nightmare

Jonathan Warner Reed
Jonathan Warner Reed

As a property dispute lawyer I come across the same types of property dispute over and over again.

Whether you are planning a large commercial development or a small domestic renovation project, follow these 10 simple steps to prevent your construction dream from turning into a drama:

Try and use a builder who comes highly recommended. There are now websites that rate builders such as A personal recommendation is probably best. If the builder can provide examples of their work or references then so much the better.

Consider sending the same building specification to a number of builders and getting several quotes.

A good builder should not request substantial sums up front. They should have good credit lines and be able to bill you upon completion of stages. What happens if you pay a substantial sum up front and the builder goes bust?

Know who your builder is. Are you dealing with an individual, a partnership or a limited company? You would be surprised how many people do not know who they have entered into an agreement with. Put that agreement in writing. It doesn’t matter how many times you have used them or how well you know them. If everything is down in writing both parties know where they stand.

Make sure the builder knows what the building is going to be used for and by whom. This seems like a strange point; however, if the building is going to be used by, for example, disabled or elderly people, they may have special requirements regarding access, the height of plug sockets etc. that the builder might not otherwise consider.

Jonathan Warner-Reed, Director, Lupton Fawcett Lee & Priestley, 0113 280 2045