If you’re planning a renovation, refurbishment, loft conversion or brand new basement, you’ll want to hire someone to do a good job at a fair price. So when it comes to finding genuine and reliable contractors, we’ve put together a top ten guide to getting it right first time.
1. Word of Mouth
Recommendations from friends and family are always a good idea. It’s completely free and if a builder’s done a good job for your friend, they’re likely to do a good job for you.
2. Rated People
3. Trading Standards
When a tradesman displays the TSI logo, it means they’ve agreed to provide a good level of service and a clear complaints procedure should anything go wrong.
4. Trading Standards Buy with Confidence Scheme
All traders listed on this scheme must have been operating for a minimum of six months and are thoroughly vetted by Trading Standards to ensure they’re operating in a legal, honest and fair way.
5. Local Authority Assured Trader Scheme Network
Many local authorities run what’s called ‘assured trader’ schemes. Businesses that sign up to these schemes get support and promotion from their local authority Trading Standards Services, in return for a promise that they’ll offer quality workmanship and excellent customer service.
The TrustMark scheme is a not-for-profit organisation that’ll help you find local tradespeople that are trustworthy, reliable and operating to Government-endorsed standards. They’ll have been independently inspected so you can be sure they’re offering a reliable and genuine service.
7. Trade Associations
If a trader belongs to a trade association, you can feel reassured, because they must follow a code of practice and, like other schemes, will have been thoroughly vetted.
8. The Chartered Surveyor’s Voluntary Scheme
Run by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, this scheme offers advice on finding reliable and reputable surveyors, architects and quantity surveyors. This is invaluable if you’re planning major renovations and need planning permission or to comply with building regulations.
9. Green Deal
The Green Deal helps you make and install energy-saving home improvements such as loft insulation, draft proofing, double-glazing and solar panels, without having to pay up front. Find out if your home would benefit here.
10. Get Me Digital
Whether you’ve got problems with your TV, satellite dish, cable or broadband or you’re struggling to understand the latest digital technology, Get Me Digital can help. With customer-written reviews and an easy to use database, you can type in your location and be confident in finding an approved installation expert or savvy service engineer.