How to Protect Yourself from Rogue Builders

Protect Yourself from Rogue BuildersWhen you’re having an extension built, or having significant repairs or maintenance work to your property such as a new roof, it’s important to protect yourself and your cash. Make sure you’re ready for any eventuality – it’s not unheard of for a builder to start work on your property but then leave the job unfinished when the firm goes bust.

To avoid being left in the lurch with the job half-finished, follow our simple steps.

When you’re hiring a builder or a roofer, get a guarantee. In the current climate, firms can go into administration and even though your tradesman is competent at his job financial difficulties may make it impossible for them to carry on.

Make sure that your property is a member of a recognised trade body such as the Confederation of Roofing Contractors, or the National Federation of Builders.

Before you hire someone, check their references and see if there are any reviews online that will confirm their credentials, attitude to work and history. Really do your homework – and go for a tradesman or builder with a permanent business address as these are often more well-established.

Check the roofer or tradesman is fully trained and also check on the insurance. That way, if something goes wrong, you’ll have a backup for the work. Some insurance policies will offer protection in case someone is injured while working on your property. This can be very useful, as working at height and building work is a high-risk activity. Other insurance policies will have a specific clause to cover insolvency, which can offer you some help if the builder goes broke while working on your property.

Never pay for the full project up front. There are cases of property owners who have lost thousands of pounds by paying large sums of cash before the builder disappears without finishing the work. This is why it is important to get a contract up-front. The contract should state your expectations and set out when the work should be started and finished. It should outline how much it will cost and how much of your money will be spent on labour and how much on materials.

If possible, try to use a credit card to pay for the work, because this will give you a bit of a back-up if something were to go wrong. You may be able to get your money back from the credit card company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This is also useful if the builder were to walk out before the work is completed, because you may be able to claim for the cost of getting the job finished. The work must be more than £100 and less than £30,000. Find out more by looking up the Consumer Credit Act.

Many people think that there’s just not enough legal provision for homeowners but the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 should cover the basics when you’re hiring a builder or tradesman such as a painter and decorator. Under this law, you have a right to expect certain things, such as the standard of work – work must be completed with reasonable care and skill, for example. Materials must be ‘fit for purpose’ and the work must be completed within a reasonable time.

This law allows you to go back to the builder if you’re not happy with the standard of work and have faulty items repaired or replaced, or get shoddy workmanship put right.

It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with your rights before you hire a roofer, builder or tradesman to undertake work on your property.

Make sure you know what your own responsibilities are. If it’s a listed building and your work needs planning permission, then it’s your job to ensure that you have approval to carry out work on the property.

When you’re hiring a roofer, question them thoroughly to make sure that they understand what they’re taking on, and what is expected of them. Find out who will be undertaking the work to your property – it’s all very well being reassured by the gaffer on the phone only to find the apprentice turn up to carry out the work.

If you’re looking for a trained roofer to undertake roof repairs, replacement roofs, emergency repairs and other work, contact G&A Roofing and Building today.

G&A Roofing and Building is a professional roofing firm that provides quality care for property owners. We offer a vast range of roofing and general home repairs, including emergency roof repairs, chimney and gutter repairs, maintenance work and roof reports and surveys.

Established for over 25 years, we have a reputation for providing excellent customer care. Before we start any work, we always undertake a risk assessment on your property.

Call G&A Roofing and Building to discuss your requirements with a trained roofer today on 0800 626430.

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