cowboys

The twelve signs you may have employed a cowboy builder

The twelve signs you may have employed a cowboy builder

Benjamin Franklin: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten“. This statement remains as true today as it did in the 18th Century. But what are the signs that you’re potentially dealing with a rouge building contractor?

1. No references
2. Unsolicited arrivals
3. Their price is too low
4. Your builder works off the books
5. No contract
6. They ask to be paid up front
7. Where are they based?
8. An ever-changing workforce
9. Poor timekeeping
10. They keep finding extra jobs
11. Shoddy workmanship
12. They have a reckless disregard for health and safety

1. NO REFERENCES
In this modern age there’s no excuse for not being able to direct a potential client towards online testimonials. Ensure that they are relevant to the job at hand as many builder’s claim to be masters of many trades.

2. UNSOLICITED ARRIVALS
Did this builder find you or vice versa? If this man knocked on your door of represented himself from a market stall, then you would do well to proceed with caution.

3. THEIR PRICE IS TOO LOW
There’s no cutting corners when it comes to the disposal of hazardous materials. If the price is this low, then your old garage roof may very likely be thrown over someones hedge.

4. YOUR BUILDER WORKS OFF THE BOOKS
Legitimate businesses don’t operate this way. If they are willing to try and fleece the tax man, they might not hesitate to do the same to you.

5. NO CONTRACT
Is the representative putting his offer on a plain piece of paper or on the back of a business card? Where’s the recourse in the event that things can and will go wrong.

6. THEY ASK TO BE PAID UP FRONT
This is simply an unacceptable practice. Stay well clear.

7. WHERE ARE THEY BASED?
Or better put who are you dealing with? If you’ve been ask to pay the contractor upon completion who is it you’re actually dealing with?

8. AN EVER-CHANGING WORKFORCE
You have placed a good amount of trust into the salesperson but is he simply putting the work out to the lowest bidder?

9. POOR TIMEKEEPING
A competent builder should be able to provide you with an idea of when they expect to start a job and closer still to that date a day and a time. If they can’t then this is a sure giveaway that this person lacks control of their work.

10. THEY KEEP FINDING EXTRA JOBS
Expect a job to be tendered at a fixed price. Add-ons on the day are completely unacceptable.

11. SHODDY WORKMANSHIP
In a hurry to get to the pub? Rushed or bodged work is the hallmark of builder in a rush.

12. THEY HAVE A RECKLESS DISREGARD FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY
Does the contractor possess the correct clothing, gloves, eye protection, safety footwear and respiratory protective equipment?

Rogue builders in the sector are more common that you think and the salespeople that refer you to this anonymous white van contractors are no better. If the market stall peddler doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, then you had best walk away.

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