Finding and managing builders is an area of any refurb that a lot of people lose sleep over. How am I going to find someone I can trust? How will I communicate clearly with them? What if it all goes wrong?

We have all heard horror stories of builders doing the dirty and leaving the homeowner high and dry. At Platinum Property Partners (PPP), we have experienced mentors who specialise in refurbishment and who are experts on everything from fire safety for HMOs to drainage to layout and design. Although PPP doesn’t have a team of builders, we call on the support and experience of the network and our specially trained mentors, who will offer extensive documentation, templates and online training and education. Rogue traders begone!

Using Your Network

When you approach a new project, it is always worth asking friends and family if they know anyone they could recommend for your job. The network within PPP is always recommending and referring contacts to ensure that the best tradespeople are used within the group. The builders who frequently work on PPP projects often come to understand what the expectations are, and what the desired result is, which can take some of the stress out of the conversion.

Finding the Right Tradespeople

Checkatrade (www.checkatrade.com) is one of our favourite tools for searching for new tradespeople. It has a great filtering system to help you find different experts within a set radius of your project. You can also see all previous reviews and ratings on each individual/organisation, broken down into a range of categories – from how accurate their quotation was to how clean and tidy they left the site.

There are plenty of great builders, electricians, plumbers and carpenters out there… you just need to know where to find them. MyBuilder (www.mybuilder.com) is also worth checking out. Platinum Property Partners always encourages you to get more than one quotation on any job – three is the magic number!

Building a Relationship

Establishing a good relationship with your tradespeople is an absolute must. PPP encourages all Franchise Partners to work closely with their builders, making sure they are treated well throughout the project, and that they have all the information they need in order to do a great job. To reduce the risk of any confusion, PPP supports Franchise Partners by helping to create refurbishment specs and maintaining ongoing communication throughout each Franchise Partner’s first project.

Overseeing the Refurbishment

Once you have found someone you are happy to work with, it’s important not to forget that you are still responsible for managing the project from start to finish. You want to ensure that you stay in close contact with your tradespeople throughout the entire experience and that you visit the site at least twice a week to answer questions and to keep an eye on things.

PPP provides extensive support on how to successfully manage a refurbishment: we offer each of our Franchise Partners one-to-one mentoring, and a tailored ‘how to’ pack with templates, documentation and video training.

What to Do When Things Go Wrong

At PPP, we offer training to get the best and work hard to avoid the worst. Prevention is always better than cure, and the last thing you want in the middle of a big refurbishment project is to have conflict with your builders. There are a number of strategies you can use to avoid running into difficulty but, as and when something goes wrong, it’s important that you take action to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

PPP encourages all Franchise Partners to keep thorough notes and records throughout the refurbishment, to follow up on conversations in writing and to be fair and reasonable at all times. Most importantly, we also encourage our Franchise Partners to make sure that both they and their builders have the right insurance cover in place (just in case!). At PPP, we have a bespoke insurance policy designed specifically with our Franchise Partners’ needs in mind. Just that added bit of reassurance to help you sleep soundly.

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Whether you’re keen to find out more about Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), or want information on the latest lettings legislation, you’ll find it here on the blog.