Ask the Expert: How to choose the right building contractor for a project? 17th July 2020 | IN DESIGN ADVICE | BY SBID

Finding the right builder for a project can seem like a daunting task, however, it doesn’t need to be difficult. SBID Accredited Designer, Katie Malik, founder and creative director of Katie Malik Interiors talks us through her tips for deciding which builder to work with. Most reputable contractors will be quite happy to show off their previous work and provide all of the things she recommends below…

choose a builder, Ask the Expert: How to choose the right building contractor for a project?
choose a builder, Ask the Expert: How to choose the right building contractor for a project?

Preparation is key: Prepare a detailed SOW & drawing package

In the studio, we never ask for any quotes unless we have a detailed Schedule of Work (SOW) and a drawing package ready. This ensures everything that we want a contractor to do is going to be quoted for and executed. Also, this gives us and the client a chance to compare the quotes like for like. If you’re going to execute the project by yourself, we strongly recommend preparing a list of jobs by yourself instead of leaving it to the builder to interpret. This means you won’t have to check each quote for what’s included and what’s excluded, making the final decision much easier.

Do your research: Read reviews and check for previous work

There’s a common belief that there is nothing better than a recommendation from a friend or a family member, and in most cases, this is true. Nevertheless, it’s also useful to do your own research by reading reviews, checking previous projects and references of builders whose work you like. A contractor should offer you a contract, guarantees, proof of insurance, and a clear schedule of payment. All of this combined with a recommendation from someone you know who’s used this builder, such as your architect and/or interior designer, will put your mind at rest.

Style & Personality Match

We recommend taking similar steps when choosing a builder to those when choosing an interior designer. Since you’ll be engaging your builder to work on/in your home for an extended period of time, you want to ensure you like their previous work and you like them as a person.

The new Ask the Expert blog series invites you submit the questions about interior design you want help finding answers to, whether you’re a consumer looking to redecorate your home or professional looking for expert business advice. Please submit your questions to [email protected]

About the Author

Katie Malik, founder & creative director of Katie Malik Interiors built her career in residential interior design, assisting on projects in New York, Chicago and London before setting up her practice in 2014. Inspired by colours, the interplay between symmetry and asymmetry and wellbeing, Katie’s aim is to bring authenticity to each project. 

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