When you want to refurbish your home, the thought of the entire process can be daunting enough without having to think, ‘what if something goes wrong’. Unfortunately, hundreds of people in the UK are caught out every year by cowboys who claim to be builders and then do terrible jobs that leave the owners with unfinished properties and expenses. It isn’t right and it isn’t fair, so how do you avoid getting into this situation?
Check your quote
The first thing that you’ll need to look at is the quote you’re given by the builder for the work you want done. We’ve all heard the saying, if it’s too good to be true then it probably is and the same applies here. If you’re being offered outstanding work for pennies, you should probably rethink who you’re about to employ.
Are they willing to provide references?
It goes without saying in any job that references are commonly asked for. If your builder is unwilling or even hesitant about providing you with contact information for people who can vouch for his good work then you should probably run…far away.
Does the builder want you to give him money up front?
No reliable builder is going to ask for money up front. If they try to convince you that they need money for the materials you should steer clear. All builders or building businesses will have their own money to purchase what they need and will only ask you to pay in the stages agreed in your contract. Keep your money in your pockets until the work that you’ve discussed has been produced.
Pay attention to their VAT
The majority of cowboy builders will probably try to avoid paying VAT if they can get away with it. This means that they may ask you to pay them in cash only. They may also avoid charging you VAT when it comes to paying the bill. This could mean that they don’t earn enough to pay VAT or it could mean that they just don’t want to pay it themselves. It’s all worth investigating.
Check what they’re saying is true
Some cowboys will have the gift of the gab which means they could lie straight to your face and you wouldn’t have a clue. When they’ve lied so many times they tend to become professionals at it. So, if your builder is telling you he’s part of a trusted association, give that association a call and find out if it’s true. It doesn’t take much time to pick up the phone and it could potentially save you a lot of heart ache and money.
The moral of the story is that you sadly can’t take anyone’s word for it these days. It’s smart to check and double check the person you’re hiring so you aren’t left with a wreck that could potentially be dangerous to you and your family. Always be sure before you go ahead!