05 Jan 2018

Qualities of the best builders

Ryan Abell, owner of building company Abell Building Services, describes how working in a range of building trades has helped him to instantly recognise a house-builder that is great to work with. In this article, he explains what makes the best house-builders stand out to help you make the right choices when hiring a builder for your project.

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Perhaps the most important attribute of an excellent builder is their level of skill. Time and time again, you will see that the best builders have a mixture of skills. These experienced individuals are particularly good to work with if they’re happy to take a moment to share how to undertake a skill with others. If they teach the team around them to work as efficiently as them the whole team becomes more skilled and more effective providing a strong workforce with multiple skill sets that can be relied upon to get the job in question completed on time without complications.

Reputation is powerful when it comes to the building trade. No one will last long in the industry if they don’t take what they do and how they do it seriously. When in search of a builder for your self-build or renovation project, look out for online reviews and take the time to read through them.

As a builder, it’s vital to be honest with your client about how long a job will take, how much it will cost and own up to any mistakes that have been made. Similarly, having respect for them and their homes goes a long way. Make sure you look for a builder with good etiquette, even if it’s as trivial as taking their boots off at the door or cleaning up after themselves. Builders that have respect for other tradespeople is also extremely important. Understanding what others do and having an appreciation for their skill sets means that a builder will find it easier to work on projects (and you, as a client, actually might end up learning a thing or two).

When you’re working as part of a team – particularly on a self-build project where numerous people are on site day-to-day pulling their weight – having someone use their initiative can be priceless. If supplies aren’t easily available or something goes wrong, having a member of the team say “don’t worry, I’ll sort it” can save a huge amount of hassle for the rest of the team; alleviating stress and pressure from everyone on site.

Of course, being safety conscious should be ingrained into any house-builder, but having a team member who wanders off instead of holding onto a ladder or who leaves cables lying around can be more of a burden than a blessing. Not being professional when it comes to health and safety can lead to serious concerns on site. Remember, a builder that adheres to health and safety regulations is a reliable one.

There’s the saying that if you want something done, ask someone who is busy. To some extent, this can be true with builders. Being organised and prioritised means that you’re always busy because you’re getting a job done and then moving onto the next as soon as you can. One crucial aspect of organisation in my experience is planning the tools, equipment and materials you need for the job ahead. This is important when it comes to working with other trades too, so people are not held up or the job slowed down in any way.

Being organised means that builders can keep things as simple as possible, whilst ensuring that a job runs smoothly. Sticking to a plan means that the team don’t get stressed and are dedicated to getting the right tasks done in a sensible order and on time.

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