10 things to consider when choosing a builder

The building industry does still have a stigma of the rouge traders or cowboy builders attached to it, many of the people I visit are scared to commit to anyone due to the horror stories they have heard or experienced themselves. Here are 10 tips to help you make the best decision possible:

  1. Company reviews and testimonials. Make sure you use companies such as check a trade and which as the reviews left are by real customers and are fully vetted reviews. Some other search engines are not vetted and anyone can leave reviews which is misleading to customers.
  2. Photos of previous work, make sure you can see visual evidence of the companies work not just images from the internet they show you.
  3. Ask to see some work and speak to real customers of theirs to get a real view into what it is like dealing with them as a company. Seeing work for your own eyes and speaking to real people gives a great insight into what working with them will be like.
  4. Company history, make sure the company has some trading history, no discrepancies against them etc. Some people set up a lot of companies and fold them every single year which is not good.
  5. Breakdown of the quote, may sure its very detailed and you know exactly what you are and are not getting. Especially look for ‘hidden extras’ there could potentially be.
  6. Payments, make sure they are broken down clearly. Stage payments is what we believe is the best way to work. This means you pay once each stage is completed. A usually extension will have roughly 12 stage payments.
  7. Quality of products, make sure when you do your comparisons it is like for like as a lot of companies will use cheaper products than others. Also make sure the products confirm with building regulations.
  8. Point of contacts, make sure there are multiple people you are able to contact as one-man band builders are sometimes hard to get hold of as they are on the tools a lot so need someone else to speak to when you need it.
  9. Accreditations, make sure the company has some form of accreditations with governing bodies.
  10. Insurances, make sure the company has all of its public and personal insurances in place before starting work at your property.

Difference between a UPVC Door and Composite Door

You’ve probably heard about uPVC doors – they’ve been around for a while after, all – but what about a Composite Door? Newer on the market, these became popular in the late 90s, and are the first choice for most homeowners these days.

But what’s so special about them? And why should you also consider uPVC for your back or front door? We’ll go onto discuss both types of door here, to give you a better idea when it comes to choosing your next front door.

Composite doors

As its name suggest, a composite door is produced from more than one material. It’s actually hardwood at the core, with a PVC sub-frame and a uPVC outer frame (which is reinforced with galvanized steel for extra sturdiness). The combination of these ingredients leads to a rigid and sturdy door while a foam core leads to better insulation and a glass-reinforced plastic grained surface makes it more resistant to becoming dented or easily scratched. Meanwhile, it’s worth mentioning here that our own Sovereign Home Improvements composite doors are 48mm doors – 10 per cent thicker than our nearest competitors, making them amongst the strongest on the market right now!

Meanwhile, as well as providing super-effective security for your home, a composite door will also remain looking good for longer. Rest-assured the colour of your door won’t fade or the shade alter – even despite the often-harsh British weather. The end result is a door which is solid, secure and easy to maintain. It should also last your for around 35 years.

uPVC doors

If you opt for a uPVC door, then you will have a one which consists of an insulated steel frame inside a casing of un-plasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC). This gives the door it’s thermal properties, as well as making it a sturdy and effective choice for any front door. Slightly thinner than a composite door, this type of door is nevertheless also easy to maintain; simply wipe over with a damp cloth if need be. You can expect to have your uPVC door for around 25 years – a decade less than the composite.

The main advantage of a uPVC door over its more contemporary composite equivalent though is the fact that it’s less expensive to buy – you could save as much as 50 per cent by opting for a uPVC door over a composite door. Another advantage of this type of door is the choice of design. More likely chosen for a back rather than a front door, a uPVC door can consist of a full panel or half panel of double glazing which means more light can flood into your kitchen area. This is a great compromise if the room is rather gloomy, making it a must for narrow galley kitchens in particular.

Door locking

Both composite doors and uPVC doors are available these days with a multi-point locking system. This means all locks close simultaneously consisting of a cylinder with kite-mark. This makes them incredibly effective should a burglar attempt to break into your home by this means.

Want to know about our composite or uPVC doors? Then take a look at our website. There you’ll find we offer both in a selection of colours or woodgrain finishes and at very competitive prices.