October 5, 2022

A builder identified for standing as much as unethical ‘cowboy builders’ gives recommendation on easy methods to keep away from falling prey to their scams

Analysis from SGS Engineering has revealed that complaints associated to cowboy builders skyrocketed by 31% between 2020 and 2021, and Mr Nash has revealed clear and simple steps to keep away from monetary strife by the hands of dishonest tradespeople.

Nash has not too long ago helped a sufferer of cowboy builders that has been scammed out of £92,000, and he says that throughout the nation the issue is getting worse.

With that in thoughts, he has supplied some suggestions that householders ought to comply with to make sure that they continue to be protected when partaking with a brand new tradesperson.

1. Analysis the tradesperson absolutely earlier than partaking them 

The quickest strategy to keep away from a Cowboy Builder is to keep away from ever talking to them within the first place, and there are warning indicators to look out for.

Nash mentioned, “It is very important vet tradespeople as completely as you possibly can earlier than you’ve gotten engaged them within the first place. Strategies of doing this embody checking the tradesperson out on Corporations Home, and by talking to earlier shoppers that they’ve completed work for.”

Different ways {that a} house owner can utilise embody checking the social media presence of a tradesperson (if they’ve one) and seeing what the feedback on their posts say. Streams of damaging feedback can function a crimson flag that one thing won’t be proper.

2. DO NOT pay the total steadiness up-front 

An important recommendation imparted by Mr Nash is to keep away from overpaying earlier than work has been accomplished, and he has implored all householders to implement a watertight contract on when funds needs to be made, and to carry again sufficient cash to organize for the worst.

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He suggested, “Each buyer needs to be trying to depart sufficient cash apart that they might find a way end the venture with one other tradesperson ought to their unique possibility depart the job unexpectedly. If there’s a breakdown of communication between the house owner and the tradesperson, then the essential issue is how a lot cash has been paid by the house owner.

“It is not uncommon for Cowboy Builders to vanish once they have been paid a big sum of money earlier than finishing the job.”

3. Test that they’re a longtime builder – be sceptical of anybody with no presence on-line 

Mr Nash mentioned: “One of many issues we regularly noticed throughout Covid was individuals who may need labored in a manufacturing unit or as a cleaner and may need discovered themselves out of labor, and as they will do a little bit of DIY, they all of the sudden determined that they’re a builder.

“We discovered excessive numbers of supposed builders who have been doing weekend work or a coupe of days per week on the aspect, and most of the time, they’d no concept easy methods to worth a job up correctly, and both left themselves with an excessive amount of to do, or took on a job that they don’t have the skillset to deal with.

“You need to examine that the tradesperson you might be speaking to is a professional skilled with established expertise of delivering, and never a chancer who will.”

4. Have a full contract in place 

A casual association between the house owner and the tradesperson is insufficient safety from the chance posed by Cowboy Builders.

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Householders ought to look to have a watertight contract in place earlier than work begins, paying explicit consideration to the cost schedule.

Mr Nash mentioned: “It’s important to have a full contract in place stipulating a breakdown of cost schedules with which the client is 100% completely satisfied. Constructing work shouldn’t begin till an in depth and absolutely agreed schedule is in place.”

5. If one thing nonetheless doesn’t really feel proper, cease the job instantly 

Even when taking the right steps, some jobs can nonetheless go unsuitable. Mr Nash advises that when a home-owner has taken the right steps however nonetheless feels sad with how the work is progressing, it is smart to handle the state of affairs as shortly as potential.

He mentioned: “The primary time that it’s flagged that one thing is unsuitable, and also you aren’t pleased with how the job goes, cease it there after which. It is very important tackle the state of affairs as shortly as potential to keep away from a battle afterward which might end in you dropping hundreds of kilos.”