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Bulgarian Bodger Builders

With spring in the air, this is the time for renovations to your Bulgarian property. For many people, a beautiful old country property in Bulgaria would be their dream come true but what can you do to guarantee success for those renovation and building works that need doing?

If you’re in any doubt about being able to do the job yourself on your property in Bulgarian, then it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Doing a bad job of it and then calling in someone else to sort it out is often more expensive in the long run than calling in a professional to do the job properly in the first place. Improving your home doesn’t have to end in chaos but you do need to follow a few simple steps to get the best out of your builder and achieve the results you really want.

Find your builder

The builder you choose may be spending several weeks or more working in your home so you need to be comfortable and confident in their ability to do the work.

First of all check out the builder and do your research. Find out how long the builder has been in business; longevity in the business is a good sign of happy customers. You should ask the builder for customer references, if they are a good professional outfit they should be happy to do this. Then get several detailed written quotes. Any decent builder will prefer this anyway as it makes things much clearer between them and the client and really specifies the job to be done.

In Bulgaria, you may find that you have to pay to have a quotation. This has become more uncommon recently and really large companies shouldn’t charge you for this service. Be careful of  builders recommended by real estate agents. Some agents receive a kick-back from builders just so that they place clients' business with them. Always get more than one quotation. Ask the builder what warranties he gives and also what is and is not included in the warranty.

Be aware of any legal requirements such as planning permissions and involve an architect to do detailed plans for you if necessary. It’s not the simplest process in Bulgaria to go through planning permissions and paying an architect to do this for you will probably be well worthwhile. The work involved in putting in the required documents to get planning permission makes it worth the money you will spend. They will often act as project managers for you, supervising the whole of the works from start to finish. Although their services may seem expensive, they are worth considering, especially if you will not be on hand to oversee the works yourself.


Work together

Once you’ve decided on your builder get a written contract drawn up. Include a timetable that you are both happy with and include penalty clauses for delays.  Work with the builder to let him know exactly what you want, show him pictures from magazines.

Talk straight! Many projects which go wrong are often because the customer wasn’t precise and clear about what he wanted in the first place - builders are not mind readers, so tell them exactly what you want them to achieve. Get it spelled out to the last detail. Ensure the contract includes staged payments upon completed works.

One tip is to remember to talk to the builder about how they are going to remove any rubble, open bags of cement, etc. So many people have forgotten this and found it has been left lying around their home and is impossible for them to clear.

Check with the builder whether there will be any guarantee of the work they do for you and make sure they have the appropriate level of public liability insurance for work they do at your home.


Monitor the work

Make sure you completely understand every step and keep tabs on how the work is going.

Arrange regular meetings with your builder if you can. If you are monitoring the work from a distance, then get regular e-mails sent to you with pictures (although do watch out as even pictures do not always tell the full story). Even better, get someone locally whom you trust to monitor the work on your behalf - if you don’t know anyone like this in your area, there are many independent property management companies who will undertake this job for you.