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Cowboy builders

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When you employ a builder, it’s sometimes very hard to tell at first if they are trustworthy and reliable. But there are some tell-tale signs which can help you spot the difference between a cowboy builder and the genuine thing.

cowboy builders
cowboy builders
cowboy builders

1. No References

A reliable professional will always be more than willing to show off their best work and give references. If they brush off your request, then this may be a sign that they have no good references.

2. Knock on the doors

Reputable builders wouldn’t really go around knocking on people’s doors to get work.

3. Very Cheap Quote, Quick time scale?

If something sounds too good to be true, it generally is. Quotes will vary from firm to firm, but always get at least 3 quotes. Sometimes a very cheap quote could mean they are not experienced enough to give accurate figures.

4. No Contract?

Always, always get a contract when you choose your builder. Paper is a solid foundation when it comes to building work. You want estimates of how much the work will cost, how long it will take, and a legally binding written contract, and make sure they sign it! Without a contract they could end up charging you more, intentionally extending the completion date, or denying that they ever agreed to do such things.

5. Payment Upfront?

It’s a huge no no if a building company asks for payment up front. In your written contract you should both agree when payment will be made. A reliable builder will be happy to receive payment on completion or at stages.

6. Company Details

Always check out the company details, ring the phone number, google the address, check out the website/Facebook etc. If there are no details of the company online then does the company exist?

Here at CK Architectural, we have built up a network of trusted and reliable trades people over the years. We will always offer to send your Building Regulations Drawings to 2 of our trusted builders for quotes and recommend that you get an additional quote.

cowboy builders
cowboy builders

What to do if you’ve fallen victim to a rogue trader

If you suspect you have hired a builder who isn’t meeting the agreed terms and conditions, who’s work isn’t of high enough standard, or if they fail to show up on site, the first thing to do is to try and speak to the builder. Keeping communication going is key to ensuring any queries or concerns are addressed.

If the builder isn’t communicating or if you are still not satisfied, the next step is to contact a regulatory body – Trading Standards or the Consumer Ombudsman.

Reporting a problem to Trading Standards

Trading Standards deal with complex consumer problems and potential criminal activities. Firstly, call Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline and tell them you want to report a trader to Trading Standards. The consumer helpline will assess your problem and pass it on to Trading Standards.

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