There are more than 195,000 independent construction companies operating around the UK, which makes it particularly difficult to make a confident hire when the time comes to facilitate a large-scale project, especially if you’re attempting to contract a highly specialised service such as piling and underpinning.
Therefore, in an effort to help you assess the local landscape and find a reputable team of piling contractors in your immediate vicinity, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the most important questions to ask during your research phase. So feel free to use this brief article as the ultimate beginner’s guide to vetting today’s piling and underpinning organisations.
How Long Have You Been in Business?
Right from the onset, you’ll want to ensure that your shortlist is comprised only of firms that have at least 25 years of experience within the construction industry – ideally with a long-standing history of providing both residential and commercial foundation services.
Can I Take a Look at Your Portfolio of Past Works?
Prior to your initial consultation, you’ll want to take a long, hard look at the company’s documented history of service by scouring their website for the following information:
- The company portfolio should consist of at least 400 residential undertakings and 300 commercial builds.
- Robust “job gallery” tab directly on the homepage.
- Extensive track record of residential expertise, including domestic foundation builds, home extensions, and conservatory construction projects.
- Commercial construction specialties, including long-standing developer relationships, contractor partnerships, and numerous large-scale commercial projects.
Are You Properly Endorsed, Licensed, and Accredited?
Before asking this particular question, you’ll have to know exactly what to be on the lookout for:
- Accredited by the British Drilling Association
- All in-house contractors have to be trained according to NHBC Standards
- Endorsed by The Construction Index
- All work performed is backed by comprehensive insurance coverage
- High rating on RatedPeople.com
Can You Tell Me More about Your Suite of Services?
Regardless of the size or scope of your forthcoming project, you’ll want to ensure that your piling firm of choice can perform a wide range of tasks without having to outsource any of the work to third-parties or subcontractors. In this regard, the firm should be able to perform all of the following work on an in-house basis:
- Residential and commercial ideas, designs, and construction services
- Foundational design, measurement, and calculation services
- Maintained load testing and tension assessments
- Reinforced ground beams and slabs
- Screw piling
- Auger bored piles
- Steel-cased driven piles
- Pile testing
- Compliance assessments to account for Civil Engineers Specifications with your local building control office
Can You Tell Me More about Your Consultation Process?
Once you feel comfortable with a particular firm’s level of experience and know-how, you’ll want to ascertain the ins and outs of their consultation protocols. With this notion in mind, it’s in your best interests to look for the following aspects:
- Free, no-obligation consultations
- On-demand site visits
- Top-to-bottom worksite inspections
- Personalised quotes for the required materials and labour
Keep in mind that the best way to facilitate these meetings is to learn as much about the company as possible prior to scheduling your initial appointment. So print out this brief guide and use it as an agenda of sorts during your online research.