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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
10
getting The Builders In: ..And Staying in Control (Right way plus)
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 10 April 2010
Before getting the builders in to do a single-storey rear extension to my house last year, I bought this book along with some others because I'd never dealt with builders before. The book is good, pleasantly written without being in any way patronising or sickly (which is more than I can say for some other books on the subject), and very low on waffle. I found it very useful for getting a handle on the ideal way of doing things. However, here in the wilds of North London, some of its advice turned out to be a little unrealistic. For example, from what I could tell, no builder in London will embark on a job without a "deposit" of about 20% or more. The book pretty much says that only cowboys will ask for any money up front. Perhaps this is a recent trend though, as I note the FMB contract we used didn't provide for a deposit either. I also got the message from all the contractors I spoke to that expecting a breakdown against a detailed quote was also not going to happen, but the book says you can compare between quotes in this way. However, these are minor quibbles overall. If I learnt one thing from the book that was of extreme value, it's to write up a spec in great detail in order to get a fixed quote. Armed with this spec, a signed contract, and a full plans application to the Council before starting the work, we got a very nice extension built with hardly any fuss at all; on time and even slightly below budget!
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Very Helpful. Just a shame that builders in this country aren't held to contracts like on the continent or USA.

Small firms have got away with slack regulations for ages and should be held to their promise like larger firms.
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on 13 September 2004
If I had read this book before employing a builder (from hell) I would have saved myself an enormous amount of stress and problems. Altough it came too late to prevent the existing problems, the information has been invaluable in enabling me to get a clearer understanding of what the core areas of the dispute actually were; how they had arisen; what my rights were; what the builder's rights were; and what the possible ways forward might be.
By following the author's advice in this book, and by not being embarrassed or unwilling to put in the time and effort to negotiate a proper contract with a prospective builder before agreeing to work being done, will benefit a good builder every bit as it will benefit yourself. Both parties will know exactly what to expect and the project will run more smoothly. If, the other hand, you are unfortunate enough to approach a builder who is dishonest, the agreed contract will either have him pinned down enough to prevent any major dispute from arising later or will weed him out at the start because he won't have enough
scope within the contract to diddle you or leave you with awful work and inflated charges.
The book has not been out long and is one that was much needed. The author's many years of experience are distilled into a reader-friendly and clear text which is easy to read and with guidance that is easy to follow.
It is a book written by an expert for the layman and the advice contained in it is as relevant for the small tasks you might want to have done in your property, as it is for larger projects.
Prevention is certainly better than cure when it comes to building work. And this book will help you do just that.
We have become a nation of victims to bad builders. We don't have to be.
I highly recomend it.
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on 22 December 2010
Paul's book is excellent whether you want a small emergency job doing or are embarking on a huge project.
I have found it most useful in all the work I have commissioned.
If you have read it then any cowboys will be able to tell you know your stuff and will run a mile.
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on 4 December 2012
Having responsibility (together with others) for Church Fabric this is a very useful little book. Its advice is good for little and large building projects.
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on 16 September 2014
OK, pitched a little too low for me. More facts, figures, concepts that can be turned into numbers and used would have been good. Bit too homely for me.
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on 12 October 2015
Got it for the old man as we knew we would have to get works done when we moved here, have not seen him look at it since. but he knows how to moan.
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on 24 October 2016
Very helpful guide to employing tradesmen. I felt much more confident about asking questions and querying costs. A project management bible!
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good stuff
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on 14 May 2015
good
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