Sad news for customers of DMB Solutions who say they have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket after the firm went into liquidation. (See: Brighton building firm DMB Solutions leaves dozens out of pocket).
Deposits for a design and build service
Some customers say they paid upfront deposits of £20,000. Advance payments of this type are not uncommon for builders who offer a design and build service but they are a risky option for customers, who stand little chance of getting any of their money back if a problem arises.
Pay for work carried out – not in advance
Using a chartered surveyor to design the works and obtain competitive tenders on a recognised form of contract, such as the JCT Minor Works Building Contract, is a much safer option.
No deposit is required and customers make stage payments for work actually carried out rather than payment in advance. Clearly, this puts them in a much stronger position if the builder becomes insolvent.
Other advantages of using a surveyor for your loft conversion or extension
There are other advantages too. Customers can feel secure in the knowledge that a qualified professional inspects the work in progress to make sure that the designs are being followed and to check the standard of work.
In the event that more work is required, the surveyor acting as contract administrator ensures any additional costs are fair and reasonable.
By using a surveyor, you are separating the design and the building elements of the project. This helps to identify savings and monitor any extra costs.
Pricing the same job
At design stage, your surveyor will prepare the design drawings to suit your requirements. This means that all contractors tendering for the work are pricing for the same job. Whereas if you seek quotes from alternative design and build contractors, they will all quote on different designs because the drawings have not yet been prepared.