Finding the right Builder and Professional at the right price in 5 steps

As a homeowner living in your own house, rented accommodation or business, maintenance or even improvement works will inevitably be required at some point.
The objective of this document is to make you aware of the things you should be looking for prior to, during and after the works are completed. We will be covering construction work from small duties to major extension projects, what are the key components to watch for when contracting a builder or professional, skilled tradesman such as plasterer, plumber or electrician. This will also demonstrate the benefits of using as the primary choice to list your job.

Step 1 - Market research
This is the very first step and, I would say probably the most annoying one. It is at this stage that you realise that searching for the right person to do the work is actually the most challenging aspect of the entire process. The reason for that is because builders are simply too busy and sometimes simply cannot find the time to ring you back. At times, they decide not to price for a job even after having visited your property to see it. It is all down to the risk, the appearance and workload.
So your search will start on the internet, asking your friends and the local news papers. From there, you will have collected several phone numbers which will form part of your first tick list.
There are several builders directories where you can search for builders or even post your job but it is important to keep in mind that the most common way builders are contacted is via text. The interested ones will pay a fee to receive your contact details and will then contact you. Yes, your contact details can be sold to up to 3 builders, so no matter how big the job is you will always get the same number of calls.
With, the only thing you will have to do is to list your job online, we are not selling your contact details, interested builders will contact you via MyYouKwoteMe Dashboard, therefore no contacts are shared.

Step 2 - Pricing your works
So once you have collected all the numbers, it is now time to make the calls, hope the traders will answer and are available at the same time as you. What you will soon establish is that your contact list will have to be substantially bigger than the original one, simply because most of the calls you make will reach a discontinued number, a voicemail where you leave a message but don’t receive a call back or you make a booking and he fails to turn-up. To be honest, what you are going to find out is that the best traders will be the ones that do care about their Clients and you will quickly notice which ones they are.
You will find different types of traders: the ‘speaker’ who will tell you about all the good work he has done before; the ‘story teller’ who tells you about all the types of Clients and houses he has worked on; the ‘can’t do’ who will find every single problem even ones that don’t exist; the ‘none speaker’ and the professional who will may highlight the issues but will find solutions for it. They will advise you on other aspects and are more likely send you a proper quote or will be honest and advise you that they would prefer not to do the job. At this stage, it is important that you get your story right and aim on consistency as any changes or adjustments made can influence the final cost. Probably difficult to adhere to, but bear in mind that even if the last trader has given you an important detail to efficiently progress with the works, it will have to be fed back to all the Traders already contacted/quoted, for consistency to be kept throughout.
Once your job is live on, there is a continuous interaction between you and all the Traders where questions are asked and answered in the same place for everyone to see, this will avoid any discrepancies between quotes and increase the certainty on what the Builders are submitting their best price on.

Step 3 - Choosing the right quote
Provided you have supplied the same information and been specific on the type of material to be used on the works, the quote the remaining traders submit should reflect a large difference, typically between 5% and 10%. In theory, you should choose the middle quote to increase the certainty that the quality of the work provided is sufficient. If analysing how the market in general behaves, there is always a fundamental rule that ultimately will dictate the price. One of these factors is the demand - if there is a high demand, the cost will be higher. If not, it will be lower depending on how good the material is. This, in some ways, will work in the same with builders and professionals. An extremely busy trader will charge more then a less busy one no matter how good they are. So don’t be afraid to choose the lowest price, as soon as the other parameters are well defined and agreed such as program, material, qualifications…
With the option is entirely yours, there are 2 types of job listings to choose from: quote requests is a process where, once your job has been listed, traders will simply submit quotes to you which are visible on your dashboard; or the reverse auction where traders will reverse bid on your job. Once the auction is completed, you still have the choice of choosing your bidder or not going ahead with the work. Traders are asked to keep their lowest quotes for a maximum period of 30 days.

Step 4 - Choosing the right contractor
This selection process can be made at any point between the time you have published the job to when the quotes have been received and you should carefully consider whether you would rather have a lower price, professionalism or credentials. There are jobs where you would strategically opt for a lower bid and others where you would choose a higher quote. Every opportunity is to be given to experienced and newly listed. Everyone, at some stage will be given work and have the opportunity to prove that they can do it, starting with work that will require less responsibility to higher values as their feedback increases.
Traders registered with, undergo a checking process that will eventually give them the possibility to earn the YouKwoteMe Approved Trader stamp. All traders are allowed to register with us, it will be down to the Client to decide if the job can be done by a less experienced trader or not.

Step 5 - Post contract award
Just ask yourself a question…. how many times have you received a contract from a Trader or agreed something with a trader only to find out at a later point that there has been a misunderstanding – and that you were faced with the unpleasant surprise of having to pay more money.
When you list your job with us, every stage is recorded. Each time there is a change, it is recorded and approved by the other party before the changes are made. In addition to that, progress can be recorded on daily diary log which can be referred back to at any time, as long as your account is active.

Conclusion has simply been designed for you and to make your life easy by

cutting down the need to search for Traders that are not interested in pricing your job
ensuring consistency on the information provided to do the works
delivering a pricing system that always provides you with the best possible quote and giving you the option to choose the price and trader.

This is the true meaning of being the Client - it not only replaces the conventional auctions but it reverses the roles of those requesting for work to be done and the doer. In short, it gives the control back to the Client!
Pascal Baptista

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I tend to compare YouKwoteMe to eBay, Shiply, UShip on the way we perceive and we sell everything now, but looking back, where did use to sell what was no longer needed? Well we use to sell only things that was worth the time and effort spent.
So now think about what do you do now each time you need work to be done at home or business, you need to search for a Trader online, yellow pages, news papers... from there you need to call them and try to describe what you want to be done where most of the times you will be also faced with all sorts of situations such as noisy background, no attention, no answer, no reply and facing difficult questions. Thereafter you schedule bookings, or try to, where you realise that only a few Traders will turn-up, you will be faced with all sorts of reactions, questions to other things. Only e few will be sending a quote or ask to view again and you are going to find out that the quotes have different values as the results of some builders having included items and the others not. Very confusing and time consuming process.
With YouKwoteMe the only thing people have to do is to post their work online and builders will reverse bid on their job all online. There are 3 types of jobs that User can choose from, reverse bid where all traders without restrictions, the other option is reverse bid but traders will have to be approved by the user before bidding, and the other option is to submit Kwotes where traders submit kwotes to the user. If the User do not know how much will cost to do a job there can request for the starting bid to be submitted by traders first which as soon as one is accepted this will be the starting bidding value for the revers bid. During the auction, Traders can ask questions and user answer them online on the job in detail page, and traders can book appointments to see the job all via YouKwoteMe without the ned to disclose contact details. When the auction has ended, the user has 30 days to decide if they want to go ahead with the work and maintain the kwote, if they do, both will be bonded with the YouKwoteMe contract which includes any information that has been agreed and published during the auction, both are asked to do a daily diary log where they record progress with text and pictures and documents, mark payments made and received, also during this time Traders and Users can submit change requests which is a simple process where a request is submitted which highlights the important facts such as extra cost and/or time. Once the job is marked as completed from both they will then give feedback to each other. And the job is archived. In the event of having a dispute, both can raise one at any time, once one is raised a 30 days allowance is made for both to reach a deal, if one of the parties or the 30days lapsed is the time where YouKwoteMe team act in trying to understand and solve the problem. If we cannot solve it, it is then passed on to the relevant identities such as small claim court. Also it is worth notting that if a dispute is raised both profiles are being marked as having a dispute case open which increases the likelihood of being rejected for bids if wanting to bid on other jobs.
We are working in partnering with a Home Improvement insurance company which are doing a credit check to 100% of our traders, if the check is ok and the documentation provided is ok and they have a valid CSCS card this is when they are awarded with the YouKwoteMe approved trader stamp.