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Choosing a Builder 6- Setup and Accreditation

This post is part of a series of 6 listing 30 checks to consider when selecting a building contractor. 

Contractors are not regulated in any meaningful way, despite the creation of an official register in recent years. Their skills and competences vary widely.

There are several points when they may be required to produce official documents, such as when you need their help to make applications for state grant assistance. However it’s possible for builders to operate for many years without ever being required to have proof of insurance or tax clearance.

When working with very small scale contractors, you may experience some difficulty obtaining the following. 

Consider what level your contractor will deliver under each of these headings, and discuss with your architect how that will affect your experience of the construction process.

Contractor Service Levels- Pressure Points for Customer Experience 

Low- description of contractor services at lowest merchantable standard

Medium – description of services of typical competent contractor

High- services at unusually high level within norms of small scale construction

Tax Clearance Status

Low: not in place Medium: generally compliant with some delays in providing evidence of tax clearance.  High: tax clearance always in place, and available upon request. 

Provision of Insurance

Low: arranges insurance on a job by job basis, necessary to check current policy before commencement.  Medium: maintains minimal contractor’s policy, which may be increased on a job by job basis. Check current level of cover before commencement of larger projects.   High: high level of cover maintained for regular large scale work. 

Approach to PSCP Health and Safety Role

Low: piecemeal compliance documentation, uses common sense when onsite, with some unsafe practices to be flagged.  Medium: uses health and safety subcontractor or has undertaken training for PSCP role. Good template- based documentation and records.  High: well resourced subcontractor or in- house specialist staff. General culture of safety onsite, formal safety procedures and site induction. 

Links to Study the Six Categories

  1. Essentials- intangible qualities of every professional builder
  2. Management of Time and Money
  3. Resources for Customer Service
  4. Resources for Getting the Job Done
  5. Achieving Quality
  6. Set-up and Accreditation

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