Your home is your castle. Or so the saying goes. When you own your own home, it becomes a piece of you – an extension of your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. But every home needs TLC from time to time and things can break, become damaged, crack, or fall down. You may need to repair brickwork damaged by a storm. Or maybe the lintel on one of your windows has become cracked. Or maybe you’ve finally decided to add that extension on the back of your property that you’ve always dreamed of.
For the adventurous amongst you, the thought of DIY may pop into your head. And for smaller jobs like re-plastering a flaky wall or repairing a broken doorway, this might be absolutely fine. But for bigger jobs, our advice is to leave the work to a trained, local building expert rather than risk bodging the job yourself.
Why get a professional builder?
Because you want the job doing well. It’s as simple as that. We all like to think that we can turn our hands to any household job. But let’s be honest, we probably can’t. If you have little building experience yourself then setting out on a large building repair, renovation, or improvement is never a good idea. The tabloids are littered with tales of bodged DIY jobs that have left properties in worse states than before work started (take a look at some of these on the Daily Mail website). Equally, getting an unqualified friend of a friend who once fixed a broken window for your next-door neighbour can lead to similarly disastrous results.
A professional builder is trained to perform a variety of building jobs and can often fix your problems quicker and better than you (or your mates). On top of this, they will understand the regulations and statutory requirements you must adhere to ensure work on your property stays the right side of the law. Have a look at the Government’s Building Standards website to get a good overview of the many rules that govern building work.
What are the benefits of hiring a builder in Oxford?
Oxford is a lovely city and offers a range of amenities for residents. For homeowners, properties range from newer builds, to centuries-old cottages, with many falling into the older age bracket because of the city’s historic nature.
Hiring a builder in Oxford is pretty easy with many quality tradespeople across the city. But why hire one? Let’s have a look at the advantages:
Work will be completed quicker
Even the easiest DIY job can go south quickly and when it does this can often require more time, effort, and money to fix problems. With a professional builder, you are not only getting the experience and skills to complete a job well, but efficiently too.
Yes, projects with professional builders can overrun too, but this happens far less than you might think, and issues that arise during work are generally overcome far quicker. Why? Because professional builders know what they are doing. They have the tools to finish a job and the experience to do it well. All things that you may not have.
Oxford builders understand Oxford properties
This is true of builders in every part of the country. Local builders tend to understand local properties. As mentioned previously, Oxford properties come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles. Whether it be new build’s in Headington or period homes on the outskirts of town, an Oxford builder will understand how they were built and how best to complete work on them.
On top of this, local builders will know where to source the material to complete a job, so your property looks great after work has completed. There’s nothing worse than a bodged extension using markedly different building materials than the original property. You don’t want your home to stick out like a sore thumb, after all.
Oxford builders understand Oxford regulations
While local regulations are less of a problem in the UK than they are in other countries (the US, in particular, is a smorgasbord of national and local regulatory boards) certain locations and certain properties may be governed by a variety of different rules. Now, these rules may not be specific to Oxford per se, but they may be common amongst properties in the area.
Who better to understand the regulations governing Oxford properties than local builders? Out-of-town builders may need to familiarise themselves with local regulations before they can start work, which can put a strain on the deadlines you may have. Any rules and regulations for Oxford building projects can be found on the Oxford City Council website here.
Oxford builders are experienced
If you don’t work in the building trade, then you’ll have to ‘learn’ any processes and skills required to finish a DIY project. And while there are hundreds of help guides and videos littering the Internet, none of them truly prepare you for the work required. It’s also important to remember that things seldom run smoothly during a repair or other home improvement project. And without the experience to adapt, change, or alter what you are doing, things can go South incredibly quickly. Often the cost of repairing bodged work can run far higher than the cost of hiring an experienced builder in the first place.
The beauty about hiring an Oxford builder is that they will have seen everything before and will be far more likely to complete work with little effort. Even if they haven’t seen the exact type of job before, the odds are they’ll have done something similar and can adapt the skills they already have.
Oxford builders are cheaper than you think
The most common reason for putting off repairs and building work is the cost. Hiring an experienced builder is expensive and the price of building material is high, right? That depends. Most builders can source the material required for a project wholesale. This can often make it cheaper than heading down to Wickes or B & Q yourself.
On top of this, a professional builder will have the tools required to complete the job. Completing the work yourself may require you to buy some seriously expensive kit. Plus, any repairs required to fix mistakes made during work will have to be covered by you. If a professional builder makes a mistake, then they will fix it as part of the job, although this is seldom necessary.
A professional builder will make far less mess than doing it yourself
No matter how organised you think you are, DIY is a messy business. Tools will be left everywhere and dirt, dust, and other waste can build up quickly, especially in larger jobs. On top of this, cleaning the mess up and making regular trips to the tip can be time consuming.
Professional builders will come armed with refuse sacks to store waste and coverings to ensure that nothing in your house gets marked or damaged. They will be well versed in the tidy as you go routine required to keep things clean throughout the building process.
It’s easier to find out if an Oxford builder is any good
Sometimes you might feel tempted to chase cheaper alternatives outside your local area when hiring a tradesperson. And while this may be fine in most cases, hiring an out-of-town builder can be fraught with danger.
The odds are you will already know a little about your local builder. And if you don’t, finding information will be easier. Perhaps a friend hired them for a job. Or maybe you’ve seen a recommendation in your local paper. Asking around can often yield suggestions about who the best builders in your area are, taking the guesswork out of the hiring process. Using websites like Check a Trade can yield a little information but nothing beats first hand testimonials for reliability.
On top of this, a local Oxford builder is likely to want to avoid getting a negative reputation in his area and may go the extra mile to ensure you are happy. There’s nothing worse than bad word of mouth for a business whose primary trade is local.
Hiring a local Oxford builder can make it easier to schedule work
As a local Oxford builder will live close to your property, they will often find it easier to schedule work so it fits in with your commitments. With less travel time between locations, they may also find sticking to agreed schedules easier. If they forget a tool or need to pop to the builder’s merchant to buy materials, this shouldn’t impact too much on the timeframe of the job.
If you need your building work finished by a specific date, then it’s definitely worth looking for a local builder to complete the job.
Calling in a professional builder in Oxford is a good call
As you can see, hiring a local builder has many benefits. And while DIY often sounds like cheap fun, it seldom is and can lead to problems down the line. Equally, hiring out-of-town tradespeople, while better than attempting to complete the job yourself, can present its own range of problems that can be avoided by hiring locally.
Our advice is to look local the next time you want to repair or spruce up your home. You won’t regret it.