Trading Standards officers in Cheshire are urging residents to do their homework if they’re considering home improvements this spring.
Now that the warmer weather is here many people may be thinking of having building work, renovations or repairs done on their home.
Unfortunately, tales of people who employ so-called “cowboy builders” are all to common.
People are sadly left with a sub-standard or incomplete job that ends up costing more than they thought… and even more to correct.
Trading Standards officers have given the following advice for anyone thinking of having work done on their home:
- Compare quotes – always get two, or ideally three, written quotes for the work you need. Remember a quote is a fixed price and should not vary, but the final cost can vary from an estimate. Any variation from an estimated price should be within approximately 10% of the price initially given.
- Make the first move – make sure it is you who approaches the company first, never do business with anyone who knocks on your door offering their services.
- Do your research – talk to family, friends and neighbours to get recommendations for companies who have done a good job for them.
- Pay only a small deposit – you should only be expected to pay a deposit of no more than 10% of the total cost of your work.
- Too good to be true? – if anyone knocks on your door offering grants, do your homework and find out if they are telling the truth and if they are really available. Don’t just accept what you’ve been told. A legitimate grant scheme would never expect to receive an upfront payment in return for the grant.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam you can report it to your local Citizen’s Advice on 03454 040 506. They will pass the details on to the relevant local authority for investigation if necessary.