How To Spot A Cowboy Builder

Deciding to upgrade your home is a very big decision, so you want to make sure that everything goes right. Whilst you may not have control over the tools used or the time it takes, you can have control over who you see fit to complete the work.

It is vital that you spend a lot of time doing research in your local area for builders that will both suit your requirements and are also reputable. Look at flooring in North Wales for good quality materials to match.

A good builder will tell you what they are and aren’t capable with. Whilst there will be some builders who can do pretty much anything, be weary that there are people out there who are willing to make quick and easy money from someone who has no clue about building work.

It’s also a good idea to research the individual cost of the work you want doing, from the materials to supplies. To do this look into something like builders supplies in North Wales, to make sure the price you are paying is both fair and accurate.

If you know the price of something, it is much harder for you to be overcharged. Although don’t forget to take into account any builder you hire will also charge for labour, so you will also need to look get quotes for that too. There is a red flag if the work quoted is either extremely low, or exceptionally high to what it is you are getting done. You should be able to get a good quality finish without paying an extortionate amount.

What to look out for

So you have found whom you believe to be a reputable builder. You’ve looked at plenty of reviews and heard good things about the contractor you have chosen. You contact them to ask for a quote and it seems too good to be true. It’s far cheaper than what you’ve previously been quoted. Now this should set off a few red flags in your mind.

Ask yourself, why is it this cheap, especially if it is significantly cheaper than the previous quote from another builder. In this case you need to be sure that it is a full quotation with every potential setback accounted for.

In addition to this, be extremely weary of someone who refuses to put the quote you both agreed, down on paper. A refusal to write a figure down could reflect that the true cost of building work is nowhere near that figure. You run the risk of being charged much more if there is no set figure. What is to stop them from turning around and saying, “Oh, I need to put the price up again because of x, y and z?” Here they are relying on your lack of building knowledge and experience to try to con you out of a lot of money.

Be sure to ask for proof of references, ones that you can look into yourself to prove they are genuine especially if it is a large job. It is best to walk away from someone who cannot provide or refuses to provide references.

A major red flag that is often overlooked is when the contractor is far too enthusiastic to get started right away. Cowboy builders quite often operate by taking on many jobs inside a local area, collecting a deposit and then never starting the work, or they do the work quickly, without actually knowing what they are doing.

Quite often they will move out of the area altogether, leaving both your home and finances in a mess. They will also usually change their number and may even give a fake name so that chasing them up becomes near impossible when they leave the area. Be sure to ask for genuine identification when trusting someone to do work for you.

Lastly, you must make sure that they are willing to give you details about their business. This includes an address, phone number and if possible an email address and website. This way you can also see if they are part of a trade association, which also makes it much easier to contact them if you are unhappy with something, or have a question about the work being done. A real builder will have no issue with providing you with any of these details, as well as updating you on the work in progress. They should have nothing to hide.

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