Builder in a construction site

How Far in Advance Should you Book a Builder

How far in advance you should book a builder depends on the complexity of the project and your own resources. Generally, you should start your search at least a few weeks before the intended construction date. This assumes that you already have all project details sorted out by that point.

Otherwise, you can run into scheduling problems that can jeopardize the entire project. This is especially true when you need to work with advanced specialists who are more exclusive on your local market.

Start your search early

builders looking at the plans on a table

Try to start your search as early as possible. If you only have a couple of weeks until the project starts, you may be in trouble. While some builders might be willing to work on your project on such short notice, your selection will be more limited.

You may also have to pay more for their services. If builders see that you’re in a tight spot, some of them will have no qualms about taking advantage of that in the negotiation process. If you give yourself a sufficiently large time buffer, on the other hand, you should be able to approach the situation with more control.

Should you pay builders in advance?

builders shaking hand with a customer

You should never have to pay builders in advance. The only exception is when you need them to order certain materials which can only be procured through them. Even in that case, you should avoid paying more than 10% of the total value of the project.

If a builder requests a significant upfront payment, this could be a red flag about the current state of their company. You should only work with builders who’re currently in a stable position and won’t bring any financial issues to the table.

What to do if an arrangement falls through

construction worker in a building site

Sometimes things won’t work out for reasons beyond your control. It’s possible that an arrangement could fall through even after you’ve already discussed all details with your builders. Try to keep several backup plans available in case this happens. Don’t drop all builders that you’ve decided not to work with, and keep an open communication channel with them.

That way, you’ll still have some options to fall back on if things turn sour with your current builders. This will also give you some additional leverage in negotiating with different builders.

Knowing how far in advance to book a builder is important if you want to ensure your project goes through as smoothly as possible. Try to start your search as early as possible, ideally at least a month before the project should start. Otherwise, it will be difficult to find a good selection of builders that match your requirements.


Clara Annesley

Clara Annesley is an interior design and construction content writer. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Design Technology from the University of West London. Clara specialises in residential construction for topics like health & safety, architectural design and writing cost guides for renovation and remodelling projects.