What to look for in a builder ?

Competent Builders (CB) and competent building subcontractors should demonstrate an acceptable level of training, knowledge, skills and experience.

Their competence may be demonstrated by registration on the Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI).

The builder is required to supervise the works in progress and to maintain records of the works. Records may provide an insight into the remediation works that typically warrant closer supervision. This will assist with reducing the risk of non-compliant works.

Here are key factors to consider when selecting a competent builder:


  • Track Record: Look for a builder with experience in similar type of projects you are planning to undertake.



Licenses, Certifications, and Insurance

  • Licensing: Verify that the builder has the necessary licenses to operate in your area. This indicates they meet the minimum standards set by local regulations.
  • Certifications: Certifications can indicate a commitment to industry standards and continuous learning.
  • Insurance: Ensure the builder carries adequate insurance, including liability to protect against accidents or damage during construction.



References and Reviews

  • Past Clients: Ask for references from previous clients with similar projects. Reaching out to these references can provide insights into the builder’s reliability, quality of work, and ability to finish on time and budget.
  • Online Reviews: Check online reviews and ratings on platforms specific to construction and renovation.



Quality of Work

  • Portfolio: Review the builder’s portfolio of completed projects. This gives you an idea of their craftsmanship and whether their style matches your vision.
  • Materials and Suppliers: Inquire about the materials they use and their suppliers. A good builder should use quality materials and have strong relationships with reputable suppliers.



Communication and Customer Service

  • Communication Style: The builder should communicate clearly and promptly. Regular updates and being responsive to questions and concerns are good signs.
  • Customer Service: They should be patient in explaining processes, willing to accommodate your needs, and proactive in resolving any issues.



Financial Stability and Quotes

  • Financial Stability: A builder in good financial health is less likely to run into issues that could delay your project. You might ask how long they’ve been in business as a proxy for stability.
  • Transparent Quotes: Ensure quotes are detailed, with a clear breakdown of costs. This transparency helps in comparing bids and understanding what you’re paying for.



Warranty and Aftercare

  • Warranty: A competent builder should offer a warranty on their workmanship and materials. Understand the terms and duration of any warranties provided.
  • Aftercare Service: Inquire about their policy for addressing issues that may arise after the project is completed.



Schedule and Availability

  • Timeline: Ensure their availability aligns with your desired timeline. A competent builder should be able to provide a realistic timeline for the completion of your project.
  • Flexibility: While timelines should be adhered to, some flexibility is necessary as unforeseen challenges can arise.



Selecting the right builder involves research, due diligence, and trusting your instincts. A good builder not only brings your vision to life but makes the construction process smoother and more enjoyable.

Aidan O'Connell

FIEI, Chartered Engineer

Aidan is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland with over 38 years of experience in the design, project management, and construction sectors. He has a deep understanding of the industry and needs of clients and leverages this experience to deliver tailor made solutions that align with each client’s goals and objectives.

Aidan is an Expert Contributor to the National Standards Authority Ireland (NSAI) and regularly acts as an Expert Witness for all major insurers in Ireland and the U.K. He is recognised as an industry leading expert in the  identification and remediation of latent defects related to Fire Safety, Structures, Water Ingress, and Cladding problems and has only in the last year successfully completed a number of large multimillion remediation projects in Ireland, the U.K. and Europe, specifically targeting Fire Safety and Water Ingress matters. Aidan’s knowledge and experience across numerous regulatory and legal jurisdictions ensures a very comprehensive and balanced approach to all projects.

Aidan holds a Bachelor’s in Engineering from University College Dublin and several other technical and project management qualifications from Trinity College, demonstrating his passion for and commitment to continued professional development.


Contact by email: aidan@firesafetyconsultants.ie