Builder in Edinburgh (11)
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Builders in Edinburgh
There are plenty of good local builders in Edinburgh who come well recommended by your neighbours.
We have two quick and easy ways to find a reliable local builder near you:
How much does a builder cost in Edinburgh?
A common question we get asked is ‘how much does a builder cost near me?’. And the answer is that the average builder cost in Edinburgh varies depending on the type of building work involved and the individual builder.
As a guide, you can expert to pay the following builder day rates for the various types of workers:
General builder cost – £150-£280 per day
Bricklayer cost – £150-£200 per day
Labourer cost – £100-£160 per day
Scaffolder cost – £120-£160 per day
Roofer cost – £150-£250 per day
How much does it cost to build a house?
As you can imagine, the cost to build a house will depend on how big the property is – as well as the quality of the build and finishes. If you’re planning to build a 3-bed house (90-120m2) the cost is around £126,000-£300,000. The average cost to build a 4-bed house (140-20m2) is somewhere in the region of £196,000-£500,000, and that cost goes up to around £280,000-£600,00 for a 5-bed house (200-240m2).
To help you plan your budget for an extension rather than building a house, we’ve put together a handy guide that you might find useful: How much does it cost to build a house extension?
Building cost per square metre
The average cost per square metre for building a house is around £1,750 - £3,000, depending on the size, style and complexity of the design.
One of the biggest factors affecting the building cost per square metre is the specification to which you plan on building the house. There’s a big difference between low, mid and top range construction, and the quantity and quality of materials used will have a major impact on the overall cost.
Quotes for the cost to build a house
Building a house is a big job, and one which requires a lot of planning and detailed budgeting. That’s why it’s important to speak to local builders to understand the exact costs for the various elements of the house build and get accurate quotes for the job.
As with all home improvement projects, we always recommend obtaining at least three quotes from each type of tradesperson in your area – and building an entire house involves a lot of tradespeople. You'll want to shop around to make sure you're paying a fair and competitive price for the work.
Thankfully, our request a quote tool is a super easy way for you to get multiple quotes: you post details about the work you need doing and we’ll send it out to local tradespeople in your area. Try it out – it's quick and easy!
How to choose a builder
Once you’ve found a number of builders through recommendations or online searches, it’s time to whittle down your choices to pick the builder that you want to hire. Here’s how to choose a builder that you want to hire:
1. Check their reviews and ratings
Any reputable builder in Edinburgh will have a bunch of reviews and ratings that you can see online – like on their Checkatrade profile. Reviews give you a good idea of the quality of service you can expect from the builder in question. You want to find a builder with lots of very high ratings. If they have a few poor reviews don’t immediately write them off, lots of excellent tradespeople have one or two unhappy customers – just make sure it’s the minority, not the majority.
2. Choose a builder with local experience
Ideally you want to hire a builder who knows your local area, regularly works with other local tradespeople and is experienced working on properties like yours. Where possible opt for a builder who’s based nearby, rather than a national builder who might not give you the personal experience you want and deserve.
3. Shortlist the options and interview your favourites
When you have a list of your favourite builders on paper, it’s a good idea to meet them each in person to get a feel for what they’re like, how they work, and how you’ll get on with them. Organise a face-to-face meeting and use the time to chat about their experience, ask them questions about your project, and you can even ask to meet at or go and see some of their current jobs.
4. Ask for references and follow up with them
There’s nothing quite like a conversation with previous clients to get a frank and honest review of a builder’s work. Good builders near you will be able to provide references from in and around Edinburgh for you to speak with, and hopefully they’ll give you a glowing report of the quality of service they received.
5. Get quotes and compare them
Price will no doubt pay a part in your decision-making, so make sure you get at least three quotes from different builders in Edinburgh. By shopping around you can check that you’re being quoted fair and competitive prices for the work. And, thankfully, our request a quote feature makes finding multiple quotes super easy: you post details about the work you need doing and we’ll send it out to local tradespeople in your area. Try it out – it's quick and easy!
How to check if a builder is licensed
When you’re in touch with a builder who claims to be licensed or accredited by a trade association or regulatory body, it’s sensible to double check that those details are correct. Most bodies will have an online search tool to find and verify the builder’s details online, and confirm that they are indeed licensed or accredited.
If the builder doesn’t automatically volunteer their license number or details, feel free to ask them for it. A good, reliable builder will have no issues providing that information. If they’re hesitant about supplying license details, or make an excuse why they can’t, take it as a red flag and look for another builder.
Some of the big organisations that you might want to check with are:
Reasons to hire a registered or licensed builder
When it comes to building work, you want to make sure you aren’t putting yourself or your family at risk. Here are some of the reasons why you should always hire a registered builder in Edinburgh:
Licensed builders show a dedication to their trade and are most likely to have the appropriate level of knowledge to correctly carry out building work to a high standard
Many building trade associations carry out checks and regular vetting of their members to ensure that they are working to the appropriate standards
Many licensed builders registers are constantly updated to reflect any tradespeople who have violated safety guidelines or failed to provide evidence of their accreditation
Licensed builders are typically subject to inspections of their work and will need to have achieved certain qualifications to achieve their license, membership or accreditation
Unsure about a builder’s credibility?
If you have doubts about the credibility of any builder that you speak with, take measures to ensure that they are indeed qualified and fit to do the job. You should never take chances when it comes to dealing with construction work for your home. If they still can’t provide you with reassurance of their experience and abilities, move on and find a builder that can.
How much to pay a builder up front
How much is an acceptable amount to pay a builder upfront before they start any building work for you? Good question. It’s not uncommon for a builder to ask for a small payment upfront to confirm the project, though it will depend on the size of the project and the individual builder.
A reputable builder should ask for no more than 10% of the total project cost upfront. That said, many good builders will be happy to start work without an initial payment, with the understanding that the project will be paid in installments as the different stages are completed.
When looking for a builder, one of the topics you should discuss before hiring anyone is the project’s payment terms. These terms should clearly state the different stages of the building work, with details of what work will be completed and the amount of payment that will be expected at each stage.
It’s also a good idea to have a project contract signed by both you and the builder at the beginning of the job, stating what exactly is included and what isn’t.
How to pay a builder
When it comes to paying your builder, you want everything to be clear from the start so that both parties are on the same page about how much will be paid, when and how.
Here’s a quick summary of how to pay a builder:
Draw up a contract with details of the project and make sure both parties sign it before any work begins
Pay contractors on time after you’ve inspected their work to make sure you’re happy and it’s in line with expectations
Avoid paying for any materials upfront, unless you’ve specifically asked for bespoke goods to be made for the project
Paying cash is fine as long as you’re given an invoice or receipt for the full amount you’ve paid so that you have records should there be issues down the line that you need to seek compensation for
Top tip – Always budget for extras. The vast majority of building work will run into snags, swaps or expansions to the scope of the project, so it’s a good move to budget for 10-20% as a contingency for such an outcome. It’s better to be over prepared and have cash left over at the end of the project than it is to get stuck without funds halfway through.