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How to choose the right plumbing and heating team for your self-build

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How to choose the right plumbing and heating team for your self-build project

If you’re on the brink of planning your self-build project, you’ll no doubt be working hard to make sure you have the right people on side – from architects to interior designers – it’s an exciting journey.  Choosing the right plumbing and heating team for your dream self-build home in Scotland is a crucial decision that can impact on the overall success of your project.  That’s why we thought we’d put pen to paper (so to speak) to help you.  Here’s how we’d go about making an informed choice:

  1. Do your research and make a short-list

It’s a good idea to start by researching local plumbing and heating companies in your local-(ish) area. You can do this online, in the comfort of your own home.  Once you have a long list, turn it into a short-list by sniffing out the ones that clearly have experience in self-build projects.  Thereafter, narrow your short-list down to a manageable size and seek out recommendations from friends, family, or local builders who have worked with these plumbing and heating companies on projects that are similar to yours.

  1. Check your short-list companies’ credentials

Before you invite anyone to come and speak to you, go through your short-list and make sure that each of the plumbing and heating teams you’ve chosen hold the relevant certifications and licenses to do the work you need done. In Scotland, professionals may need to be registered with bodies such as the Scottish Building Standards.  This part of your research will probably help you shorten your short-list even further.

  1. Establish that they have experience with self-builds

Once you’ve shortened your short-list, look out for teams who demonstrate experience specifically in self-build projects or at least have plumbing and heating contract experience with housebuilders. Domestic building projects have unique challenges, and a team familiar with that type of project is more likely to help you navigate your build smoothly.

  1. Ask to see their portfolio and references

Once you’ve shortened your short-list to just a few companies reach out.  At this point, you should be asking them to see a portfolio of previous work they’ve done, especially on self-build homes – but if they can’t provide that, at least work they’ve done on house building projects. This will give you an idea of the team’s capabilities and the quality of their work.  Ask them if you can speak to past clients to get feedback on their experience.

  1. Check their energy efficiency expertise

Given the emphasis on energy efficiency in Scotland, it’s wise to choose a team with expertise in the design and installation of modern, energy efficient plumbing and heating systems.  Not many companies are experienced in both design and installation – and it could make a huge difference to the success of your project to know the same team are doing the design and the installation.  That way if they come up against unforeseen installation issues, they have the skills to tweak the design without waiting for another company to show up.

  1. Look out for local knowledge

While it’s not essential, it’s usually smart to opt for a team that’s familiar with local building regulations, climate conditions, and suppliers. Local knowledge can be invaluable in navigating any specific local challenges.

  1. Ask for quotes

Obtaining detailed and transparent quotes from potential teams is essential while you’re still at short-list stage. The quotes you get should include a clear and concise breakdown of all planned costs, timelines, and any potential additional charges. Our best advice at this stage is to beware of any quotes that seem too good to be true.  Why?  Because they usually are (unfortunately).

  1. It may sound daft but – do you get along?

We don’t know about you, but we’re all too aware that there are people in life you get along with and others you don’t.  While you don’t need to be best friends with your plumbing and heating contractor, effective communication is key to a successful project. Choose a team that’s responsive, that communicates clearly, and is willing to discuss your preferences and concerns in a way that you ‘get it’.  That way there’s less likelihood of potentially costly misunderstandings.

  1. Make sure the team’s flexible and looks at your ‘big picture’

Self-build projects sometimes go like clockwork but ask anyone who’s done one and they’ll tell you the reality of delays and frustrations.  While there will always be things that happen that are out of your control, choosing a team that’s flexible and adaptable to changes as the project progresses is a great way to avoid serious delays. Self-build flow can change at the drop of a hat, and a team that can adjust to evolving needs is invaluable.

  1. Warranty and Aftercare

Getting your job done is one thing, but there are few things worse than a team that goes underground once the job’s finished.  With the best will in the world, there will often (almost always) be a need for getting the team back – for one thing or another.  That’s why it’s important to ask about the warranties or guarantees they offer on their work.  A team that stands by its work with a warranty and has a Customer Service team to assure the aftercare you deserve provides real peace of mind.  With this in mind, make sure you ask about aftercare services and whether they provide support or maintenance post installation.

  1. Site Visit

It kind of goes without saying but let us say it anyway.  It’s really important to make sure that the plumbing and heating teams you’re inviting to quote visit your building site. This allows them to assess the specific conditions and challenges of your plot, leading to more accurate proposals.

  1. Gut Feeling

And, last but not least – trust your gut feeling. If you have a good rapport with a team and feel confident in their abilities, it can go a long way in ensuring a positive working relationship – assuming everything else stacks up in their favour.

Taking the time to carefully evaluate and choose the right plumbing and heating team can contribute significantly to the success and satisfaction of your self-build project in Scotland.

At Precise, our customers tell us we tick all these boxes – and a whole lot more.  If you’d like to discuss the possibility of us being on your self-build team, we’d love to hear from you.  Just reach out.

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