this will be interesting .... if you can follow it!
haven't "officially" got a builder yet but we have met the
director of a local construction company recommended and introduced
by the architect (that we haven't yet commissioned). The builder (we
haven't got) at the behest of the architect we haven't yet commissionned has already had two men, plant and equipment on site
digging holes and trenches (on a building plot we don't yet own)
which all seems like a pretty good start to us!
We have met company director Neil (the builder) from RM Caldicott
of Leominster about three times and a really nice bloke he is too. He's very open and upfront and we would say straight as a die. The architects tell us the company produce good quality work using employees not subbies. They are always competitive but in tendering they have the edge because they use quality materials and "do the job properly".
The other aspect that has impressed us is that he is always conscious of the budget .. which is good because it's our budget and it needs to be well cared for!
We soon made the decision, based on meetings with Neil and the work and help given to enable us to get some reasonable initial costings that, if the project got off the ground, then he would be our builder. Why spend money producing goodness knows how many copies of plans for an expensive tendering exercise, not to mention the architects fees and the time factor when we already had a good man and true standing by at the helm. No brainer!
2nd Update in May 12
We continue to enjoy a first class relationship with Neil. We have agreed that Neil will in effect project manage the build for us. To do so he will be using both his directly employed staff as well as other specialist contractors. He has responsibility for everything with the exception of the glazing and the icf walls which is our responsibility to source and fit. The build was started on 12 Mar and to date we can not speak highly enough of Neil and particularly his regular communication about what is happening, when, and the decisions we need to make.
3rd Update in November 12
Can not recommend Neil as a project manager, builder and now friend ............. highly enough!