How Do I Choose a Building Company?

Building a property can become an unpleasant undertaking if you happen to fall into the hands of the wrong building company. It is, therefore, essential to choose a contractor that you can trust, whether you intend to build your property from scratch or are doing major renovations. The right builder will take you through the entire process with no stress.

Although construction always comes with unforeseen issues like sudden weather changes, sickness of staff or shortage of building materials, there are plenty of problems that you can avoid by properly vetting your builder.

No matter how small your building project may seem, not just any builder will do. The following are just a fraction of things that could go wrong as a result of hiring the wrong company.

  • Falling behind schedule
  • Failure to stick to the budget (Either the builder didn’t do a comprehensive budget or is trying to rip you off)
  • Abandoning of the project halfway through (possibly due to advance payment beyond the work done)
  • Safety concerns such as collapsing of buildings due to poor workmanship

The good news is that there are many certified and qualified companies, which can deliver good work without letting you down. However, to get the best builder, you have to do a thorough evaluation.

Determine the kind of work that you require

Building companies fall into two main categories each with different experiences;

  1. General builders – These are contractors that can handle any construction activity with ease.
  1. Specialist builders – Expert building companies specialize in one line of business such as building stair ways, renovating basements, etc.

Ask for leads for builders in your locality

The following are places that you can use for your research.

  • Your local Home Builders Association
  • Local real estate agents normally have useful leads
  • Browse through the real estate ad section of the local newspaper and magazines
  • Ask current homeowners, for instance, friends or relatives for leads.

After gathering the leads, come up with a list of builders that seem promising.


 Interview the builders

Contact each builder on your list and schedule an interview where you can ask them a few questions such as;

  • Do they have referrals of homeowners residing in properties that they’ve built in the past? Reputable builders will be happy to show-off their work, and will not hesitate to list a few of their previous customers.
  • What financial plans they have in place? Do they have insurance?
  • Can they cater for customized needs as opposed to standard plans?
  • Are their properties regulated by home owners associations and if so, what are the fees?
  • Do the builders offer warranty in case something goes wrong with your property such as cracking of walls or leaking pipes?
  • What rules and regulations come with hiring them?
  • Have they won any awards? Although an award is not a core requirement, it shows that notable building or consumer organizations have recognized the company’s quality work.

Interviewing homeowners

Ask the home owners about their experience working with the contractors.

  • Did the company have good communications skills?
  • Are there are any issues that have come up with the properties since purchase.
  • If indeed there are property-related problems that have cropped up, were the builders willing to sort them out promptly?

All the questions above will help you narrow down your list to three or four contractors that possess the qualities that you desire.

Visit the properties

Make arrangements to visit the properties that builders have constructed and make assessments on quality, functionality, etc.

Determine your project scope

Think about everything that you need. Hire an engineer to do structural calculations, and help you come up with drawings of the property as per your specifications.

Prepare a brief

The write up will show a list of requirements and be as specific as possible.  If you appear unsure, the builder might end up giving you their ideas, and you might end up with a structure that you don’t want, but rather the builder’s preference.

 Send the brief to the builders for bidding

Bidding allows you to get a variety of offers, and from that, you can choose the one that appears to provide quality work for the best price.  Analyze the quotes to see if they’re realistic or far-fetched.

As tempting as it might be, do not be quick to pick the company with the cheapest quote. Ask the pricier ones to justify their costs and find out what the cheap contractors did not include in their quotations.

Look at the breakdown of the costs carefully, and assess whether you need the items that are raising the costs? Can you do without them or are they a necessity?

Please note that some builders quote meager prices only for you to realise later on that you need to fork out more money to cater for essentials that were not in the quote.

Familiarise yourself with quote jargon such as provisional sums and prime costs. The terms are for allowances, and you should be keen to ensure that they do not appear too often, as they can be deceptive. Ask for clarifications if you come across anything that doesn’t make sense.

If you aren’t supplying the building materials, seek to know where the construction company will source the building materials from and the exact type, to avoid future misunderstandings.


Good builders are always on demand, so ensure that you book on time, to avoid last minute disappointments.


Before work commences, ensure that you’ve both signed a binding contract.  The document will show that the builder has acknowledged responsibility for the project and that you’ve agreed to pay a certain amount of money in return.

The contract also shows payment terms to avoid sudden off-budget expenditure.

Selecting a reputable company gives you a peace of mind knowing that you, your family or business are safe from property associated accidents like building collapses, gas leaks, etc. You will also be sure that you’ll be working with a professional who is not just after money.


Good builders will have enough business acumen to understand that they need future referrals, so they will ensure that they do everything in their power to be as professional as possible.

Top Tips for Creating a Study

Whether you work from home or just appreciate the need for a room that can serve as a quiet retreat, a study can function as an excellent way to facilitate your needs. Done properly, a study is not just practical, but also an elegant component of any home that will impress your friends and perhaps even help your home stand out a little bit when the time comes for you to finally sell it.

As is true any time you decide to change an aspect of your house there are things that you should think about before you begin the process, and that is where we come in. Read on for everything you need to know about building a study!

It’s a Matter of Space:

For the purposes of this process, building a study will either require a renovation, or an addition. The difference in cost, as well as the eventual increase in home value, varies pretty drastically depending on which you will need so it is best to make your decision regarding this part of the process early on.

For a renovation, you will simply take an existing room (probably a former loft, or bedroom) and remodel it to your liking. This process will be less expensive, which means you will see a greater return on your investment in the form of an increase in your home value.

Building an addition is a much more demanding process, and it is also more expensive. Of course, there are also pros to building your study from scratch. When you build on to your home, you know that you are getting a room that is fit to your exact specification.

Building onto your house can cost thousands of pounds that you may never see back in the form of a proportional increase in the value of your home, but if that isn’t your primary concern and you value the ability to get a room customized to your interests, it is a great route to take.

Conversely, if you have a wide-open space, like a basement, it is also possible to put up a few walls to make an additional room. This route is less expensive than building on to your house and it still gives you the option to engage in some customization.

Once you decide the means by which you will be creating your study, you can get down to the fun part of actually designing it!

Assess Your Needs:

What are you looking for out of this study? Is it the traditional sort with dark woods, rich leather, and a robust book collection?  Are you looking for a place to retreat to after dinner for your knightly brandy, or is it a more professional setting?

If you sometimes, or always work from home, a home office is a necessity. Depending on your line of work you may want your study to be equipped with plenty of desk, file, and office equipment space. Or, perhaps your ideal study is a combination of both worlds.

Deciding what you want out of your office before you begin working on it is a great way to simplify communication with your future contractor.


Your budget is something that you will need to decide upon before you begin a remodel of any nature. Remember that the more money you spend, the less of a return you get on your investment, but that should not stop you from building the study of your dreams.

Unfortunately, building anything (including a study) is going to be expensive, though how expensive will depend on the scope of your renovation. Painting the walls and putting in new flooring, for example, will be much more affordable than building a room from scratch.

The good news for those that are conducting this project in a room that already exists is that depending on what they are looking to have done, building a study might only involve some new furniture and a fresh coat of paint on the walls. It is all relative to what you are trying to have done.


Options are truly only limited to the scope of your imagination, but just to help get your creative juices flowing, here are a few ideas for how to make your study awesome.

Built in Shelves: A study makes for an excellent place to enjoy some quiet reading at the end of a long day. While you can use a bookshelf bought from the store to house your treasured books, those simply don’t have the same elegance as built in shelving. Adding built in bookshelves into your study is an excellent way to give the room a distinct touch of class.

Hardwood Floors: Many would maintain that hardwood floors are an excellent way to enhance any room. I’m not sure about that but I can say that they have a classical look to them that is sure to give your room an added appearance of elegance. Putting in hardwood floors can be costly, but if you plan on enjoying your study for many years to come you might just find them to be a worthwhile investment.

Colour: Colour is entirely a matter of personal preference. This is your study, so colour it the way you wish. Personally, I think earth tones are an excellent way to accentuate the classic dignity of your study but if you chose the colours that appeal to you, you will never go wrong.

Furniture: How much furniture you add will, of course, depend on your space, but if you are creating a place to relax, or even work comfortably from home, you want a nice place to sit, don’t you?

Bringing in a few comfortable chairs, or even a sofa are great ways to enhance the relaxing nature of the room.


As is true with most remodels, once you get past the boring (and often enough stressful) components of the process, such as deciding a budget and choosing a contractor, the rest is fun and exciting. True, remodels can be wearing, but just remember that the entire purpose is to give you a room that you will enjoy for many years to come.



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Top 6 Colour Schemes For Your Nursery Room

Are you about to choose a colour for your baby’s nursery room, and could you use some tips about it? Usually, the choice is made depending on the baby’s sex, on the psychology of colours, and on the family’s tastes.
Colours can have a profound effect upon the emotional state of a person. While some colours make you feel calm and relaxed, some others are a great boost of energy. Before choosing the colour for your baby’s room, you should know some things about each colour.
Debbie Zimmer, colour expert for the Paint Quality Institute, says that choosing the proper colour scheme for the nursery room means a better night sleep, great peace of mind, and better functioning of the human organism. We have the 6 top kid’s bedroom colour schemes to help you get started. Let’s take them one at a time:

#1 Green

Green means relaxation and rejuvenation, as well as renaissance. In a green nursery room, your child will feel more energized, thus he will wake up easier in the morning. Furthermore, green walls will help your kid calm down and be less anxious. If for instance your little one has an identity crisis, sending him to his green room will calm him down.
Green is the refreshing colour of peace and glee. However, remember to avoid using dark shades. Still, if you do use them, be sure to combine them with warmer or neutral tones.
Since green has a calming effect, it is a popular choice for bedrooms, but it can also be associated with summer nuances, with a lot of fruit and vegetables, so you can also use this colour for your kitchen and your dining rooms.
Top Tip: A great combination would be to use light blue, green, and white.

#2 Blue

Blue is one of the most popular choices for the nursery room. Blue is peaceful and has a calming effect. This colour can lower the heart rate (when it is out of control) and the body temperature. It is an excellent choice for bedrooms or bathrooms, but it is inappropriate, for instance, in a living room.
Kids that spend their time in a blue nursery room can play quietly by themselves and be satisfied with it. If you put several kids in a blue room, they will get along very well, without fighting. A blue bedroom can also help your baby take a good nap in the afternoon.
Studies also show that people are more productive when working in blue rooms. So, a blue nursery room might help your child when studying or playing an instrument.
Top Tip: A blue element designed on a bright wall can bring style to the entire room.

#3 Pink

Pink is derived from red, but it has the opposite effect. It is one of the most relaxing colours.
Many parents choose this colour for their babies’ rooms, more often for girls. It is a very cheerful and frisky colour that best describes the cheer that having a baby girl conveys. Psychologically speaking, using pink for your kid’s room calms restless spirits, but also helps maintaining a proper light in the room, thus inspiring optimism and joy.
Top Tip: Use many types of pink on the same wall for a magical and youthful vibration.

#4 Orange

Orange is the symbol of joy, enthusiasm, the desire for growth, courage, and optimism. It is a cheery and warm colour that enables creativity. However, we recommend not painting your walls in orange only, but to combine it with other colours, as it can become tiring, especially when bright sun creeps onto the window.
Children that choose to paint in orange are intellectually active, open-minded, talkative, and enthusiastic about new experiences. So, choosing orange for your child’s room can positively influence your kid’s personality.
Top Tip: Use glass decorative items painted in cool colours, like blue or green vessels overlapping a golden orange wall. Thus, you will make the most of the room’s light and warmth.

#5 Turquoise

The child that chooses this colour in his drawings is happy to depend on someone, he likes being supported and encouraged, and needs to know that others trust him. His sensitivity allows him to enrich his spirit and explore all that surrounds him.
Turquoise suggests serenity, depth of feelings, but also a tendency toward dependency. Just like orange, you should use it in conjunction with other shades, and avoid its usage in the entire room. It is indeed a colour that draws the kid’s attention, that stimulates his senses, but it can also become exhausting in touch with the strong sunlight.
Top Tip: Use colder turquoise shades combined with lighter colours for warmer colour schemes.

#6 Yellow

Your kid’s room all painted in yellow! What do you say? It is a warm colour and will give your child just what he needs: brightness. The key words that best describe this colour are: energy, dynamism, open-mindedness, living in the present. Your kid will be an extrovert that needs freedom and movement. The child who chooses yellow for his drawings is expansive and sensitive, he is looking to make friends and when he grows, he will involve into social activities that will help him climb the ladder of success.
Yellow, especially in warm nuances, is an excellent pick for your child’s room. It calms your kid and helps him sleep well due to its artificial light. It also gives a boosting and refreshing aspect to the room along with the natural sunlight. It is the colour that gets different attributes, depending on the time of the day.
Top Tip: If you want a classical calm interior, use a more tempered shade of yellow combined with brown and clay colour.


Choosing the colour for your child’s room can affect the temper of your kid, his sleep, and also his mood to play. So it is recommended to take into consideration the psychology of colours.
Regardless of what colour you choose, you have to think that no one will spend more time inside your house than you and your family. So, consider what the other members of your family also want. Your favorite colours are the best choice. If they are psychologically too much, you just have to combine them with warmer and relaxing colours. Good luck with your redecoration!



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