The builders are still in - but it will be worth it in the end

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Work started on the back of our house in late September. It’s now mid-January and there is almost light at the end of the tunnel.

When you extend a property, the company you choose is vital. You put your trust in them to complete the job perfectly and to the budget agreed.

You hear so many horror stories about cowboy builders or companies that go bust half-way through the works.

With this in mind, I chose a local company whose offices I drive past every day on my way to work.

They’d been there as long as I could remember and I’d not heard any bad reports about them.

What is interesting is that many companies these days use sub-contractors. I suppose this offers far more flexibility for the company itself and can offer a lower price for customers.

This was all new to us as we received phone numbers for the builders, fitters, plumbers and electricians.

What this did offer was flexibility for us too. We asked each of the tradesmen to do other little extra jobs that we wanted doing.

On the negative side, communication did break down at times and we did the chasing.

As the last of the patio slabs are laid, we can finally get the back of our house back.

The dogs will also be thanking their stars as each trip into the mud pit of a garden has necessitated all paws being cleaned.

What we’re left with is a fabulous conservatory, drenched with sunlight every day, thanks to our west-facing garden.

Our baby, Freddie, has a warm and safe place to play and we can keep an eye on him from the kitchen/diner.

My advice is go with a local company whose name you know and which is well-established.

Ask friends and family if they’ve heard anything about the company too. Reputation is everything for builders.

Communication can be an issue, so make sure you have an agreed price for all works and that the sub-contractors know exactly what they’re doing.

In the end, it will be worth it!