The Federation of Master Builders

Ask the expert: How to get the best builders quotes?

Published date: 26 April 2018

Whether you’re thinking about starting a home improvement project or are currently in the process, you’ll be looking to secure a competitive quote that fits your budget. However, finding and comparing quotes from builders can be daunting as how do you select which quote to go with? Fear not, K Design and Build Ltd, members of the FMB, are sharing their tips with us to help ensure you select the best builders and receive the most competitive quotes.

Step 1: Scout the local area

First things first, you need to make sure all your plans and budget are ready and set in stone. You know what you require and you’re ready to start exploring the area for builders. For those living in a listed building or working on a unique project, it’s important to look for specialised and specific builders to ensure work is completed to high standard and smoothly.

When searching for a Builder, why not ask your architect or designer for recommendations on any good builders in the area. It’s always beneficial to check out local building work that is happening in your area or ask friends and family. Maybe even a neighbour who has recently had work done. Another great way to find a builder is to browse online, trade association such as the Federation of Master Builders have a list of local builders who are vetted, inspected and insured.

Step 2: Make a shortlist of builders

Once you’ve had a browse and devised a list of builders you’re interested in, you’ll need to narrow the list down to 3 or 4; this way you can start to begin a comparison between quotes.

Then it’s time to pick up the phone to discuss your plans and gather a price. Why not arrange a meeting? This way you’ll be able to get a good grasp on the person and the company, as well as, whether or not they are suited to you and your project.  If you like the look of a particular business, you may want to look at their previous work, ask for references, check online reviews or even talk to a previous client and get the sense of how they perform. You may even want to visit past work to inspect the quality or view a current project to see their business in action.

 Step 3: The final step – Getting a quote

To get an accurate price, you’ll need to supply builders with lots of information. The documents required by a builder in order to prepare a quote, known as the ‘tender documents’, need to include the following information:

  • A full set of all plans and drawings
  • Specification documents with as much detail as possible
  • Details of any materials you will be providing
  • Details of any work you will be handling or subcontracting
  • Details of any contract you intend to use
  • Details of any preliminaries (demolition, site clearance etc.)
  • The format you want the quote to take

It is important to remember that even once you have given builders the same information, prices may differ between businesses, and the cheapest doesn’t always mean you’re receiving the best quality. However, if you do your vital research, it should be easy to identify the good quality businesses and what is best for your building project.

Quotes Vs Estimates:

A popular question homeowners ask is what the difference between an estimate and a quote is. A quote is a set price that will not change once completed other than unforeseen required works, (this generally below ground level) or if P.C (preliminary costs) sums have been requested. An estimate is used for a guide price from the builder, therefore the price may be slightly higher after the project is finished. The price will only change from a quote if planning has changed.


Planning your dream build? 

If you're embarking on a building project involving a new build, conversion or renovation, FMB Insurance can help you. Our range of warranties protect your property from the start to 10-years post completion. Take a full look at our range of warranties here

About the experts: 

K Design and Build Ltd are domestic and commercial builders based in Sandhurst, Berkshire who create bespoke dream homes and extensions. We pride ourselves on our efficiency and delivering a high level quality of finish. We are members of the Federation of Master Builders providing peace of mind and reinforces our concrete credibility. If you have a project that you would like to discuss, then we'd love to hear from you. Visit or contact us via email: [email protected] or call  0118 909 9110


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