6 Signs to Spot A Cowboy Builder
- 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 they have no good references.
- Knock on the doors. Reputable builders wouldn’t really go round knocking on people’s doors to get work.
- 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
- 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 contact, and make sure they sign it! Without a contact they could end up charging you more, spinning out a job, or denying that they ever agreed to do such things.
- Payment Upfront? It’s a huge no no, if a building firm 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.
- Company Details. Always check out the company details, ring the phone number, google the address, check out the website/facebook etc. If there is 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 you to find at least 1 of your own builders to get a quote from.
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 then 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 to take will be getting into contact with a third party, such as 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.