Last Updated: Jul 19, 2024

Select Contractor

 Ask for references and names of previous clients. Speak to them and look at their previous work, if possible.


·       Make sure they have an office address, telephone number and use headed notepaper.

·       Check they are a member of a reputable trade association, and if tax is being charged, make sure there is a tax number shown.

Be clear about what you want

·       Get a written specification and estimate.

·       Agree  to any stage and final payments before work starts.

·       Get more than one estimate.

·       Avoid changing your mind halfway through a job - it usually costs more and causes delays.

·       Ask for an insurance-backed warranty for the work.

What to look out for

·       High pressure sales people from so-called specialists.

·       Do not sign anything you have not read or do not understand.

·       Advance payments, particularly at the start of the job, should be avoided.

·       Demands for cash payments. You are only fuelling the black economy and putting yourself at risk from rogue traders.

What to do if things go wrong

·       Speak to your builder if you think things are not right. Try and resolve problems quickly, do not let them fester.

·       If your builder does not sort things out after you have spoken to him, put your complaint in writing.

If there are still problems, get further advice. Depending on the problem, consult a Lawyer, The Citizens Advice Bureau, The Better Business Bureau  or Trade Association

Deal with an established firm