Your house is too small. Or you need one more room because you work at home. Maybe you think about insulating your old house. Buying another house is too expensive. You can think about a lot more reasons, but you require a good Dutch contractor. A capable one. But how do you find a good contractor in the Netherlands?
Your own wishes
To make a good fit, between you and a contractor, you need to know what you want. Do you really require a contractor, or is a handyman enough? The questions you can ask yourself is:
– What is your budget?
– When do I want to start?
– Which things can I do myself?
– Visualize what you want. This you can do by making a mood board or drawing. Or walk through the neighbourhood and take pictures of what you like.
– How much light do I want?
– How about finishing? Floors, walls, ceiling, heating?
– Think in detail. For example: how many electrical outlets do I require? What kind of heating do I prefer?
To help you in your process, you can download the “guide house renovation” for free.
In the Netherlands, every municipality has its own rules regarding permits. There are a few basic rules:
– If you want to change something on the front of your house, you require a permit.
– If you can see the extension from the main road, you require a permit too.
– If you require a breakthrough in a supporting wall, you require a permit.
– In other cases: check this website and fill in the form.
If a permit is required, you also need to take care of drawings and construction calculations. This process can take up to a few months, so be prepared.
Searching a contractor
Finding a good contractor in the Netherlands can take a while. Every contractor has his specialism. Do you want a dormer, extra room or veranda?
What I normally do is have a look at this website, for contractors who work with a guarantee period. Then, I have a look at their website, read reviews and decide if it fits. Asking around will also help you. Maybe, your neighbour built also an extension to their house. What is their experience?
Next step: asking for an offer
My own experiences this week
This process can be complicated. This week I called 6 contractors, and only 2 of them wanted to make a quotation. The reason: working from home and expensive houses. People need more space to combine living with working. And Dutch contractors have a lot of work to do. Don’t give up. Just be clear and ask if they know other company.
Nowadays, it is also normal, that you need to wait a few weeks before a contractor in the Netherlands can make an offer. And, depending on how large the quotation is, it can take another few weeks.
Another thing to mention: not all companies are keen on doing part yourself and outsource the other part. Due to risks.
And, last but not least. I always advise having 10% extra money reserved for unforeseen cases. Many times it was needed.
In a normal situation, you ask for offers from 2 to 3 companies. So, you can compare prices and quality. First, call the company to explain your situation. Normally, before a company gives an offer, they make an appointment for a viewing. This process can take 3 weeks.
Remark: it is a good sign if a company ask to come over for a look. It limits your risks to have unforeseen work in the end.
Differences in quotations
A difference in the different quotations of 10-20% is not an exception. When the difference is so large, you can ask yourself the next questions:
– Are the permits, drawings and construction calculations included?
– How many “stelposten” or provisional items are in the quotation?
– What is the time schedule?
– What are the terms and conditions of the quotation?
– The quality of the materials.
– Is there a click with the contractor?
– Is the quotation complete?
– Are there options to do the renovation/ job more efficient?
Do you need help in the process of finding a contractor? Don’t hesitate and send us a message.
In many countries, it is normal to negotiate. Also, in the Netherlands, it is common to negotiate on price and conditions with a contractor. However, negotiating on price in this market is a risk. A contractor can easily say: I don’t want to work for you any more.
What you can do is this:
– Be honest about your budget
– Ask them to think in solutions and other options.
– Do part of the job now, and part of the job later.
Negotiating is not only about price, but also on terms and conditions.
Accepting an offer
Before you accept an offer, you can ask more questions. It is common to have 2 or 3 versions of a quotation before it is accepted. Depending on the size of the job.
That is a good thing because every quotation will be more precise. This limits your risks. Accepting an offer, you do by signing the offer or send an e-mail that the offer is accepted.
Your project starts…
Keep cookies and coffee ready, finally the home renovation starts! It is really appreciated when there are some snacks and drinks around. Visit the project regularly and ask questions. This really helps to have a good result.
Finding a contractor in the Netherlands will take some time. If you do your preparation well, it prevents surprises. Take your time. Call the contractor for an appointment and be direct in what you want. I hope you will have a good renovation!
Asking for help with finding a good contractor is really normal. Click here to make an appointment.