Getting A Builder: Platonic and Experienced, Please.
“Past is prologue” accurately reflects the basis on which people should hire builders. Rather than look at the ads in your local Penny Saver, canvas all your friends (and then indirectly their friends) to get a list of builders who have worked well on similar projects before. Definitely meet the builder in person and look at the work they have done.
If you have hired a pro to design your project before you hire a builder, that architect or designer will have a list of builders they have worked with. If that designer or architect has a “sweetheart relationship” with the builder, be wary of it. “You rub my back, I’ll rub yours” always means you are the one who foots the bill. If there is never any responsibility for any problem other than you paying for it, something is wrong. Architects make mistakes and so do builders. If they have worked together for years, they may want to pretend that no one ever makes a mistake. The honesty that happens when independent professionals contract directly with you means you get the benefit of each professional’s insight about the other’s work.