Finding the right business to carry out work on your home can sometimes be difficult. In order to make an informed decision and avoid some of the pitfalls consider the following advice before proceeding with any home improvement work.
It is advisable to consider whether you will need planning permission, or building control approval. If your property is a listed building you may be restricted from carrying out certain alterations or improvements. If you are unsure check with your local authority before you start.
Budgeting and quotations – consider your budget, and be clear in your mind what it is that you require before you approach any businesses. This will help ensure that the quotations you obtain are accurate, and you are not surprised later by any additional costs. Once you have identified clearly the nature and extent of the work you require, obtain at least two written, detailed and itemised quotations.
Comparing quotes – once you have obtained the quotes make sure they are itemised, and compare them closely – not just the overall cost, but each of the component parts of the job. Also, make sure that the total cost includes VAT. Any quotations supplied to by a business should include a fully inclusive price for all the work specified.
Selecting a business – all our businesses have been vetted and have committed to providing quality service. You may also find customer feedback helpful in making an informed decision. Feedback allows you to see other customer experiences. For extensive work, agree a schedule for the works, as well as staged payments. We would advise that you should not be required to pay the entire contract price before work commences.
Entering into an agreement – if you enter into an agreement for work to be carried out you are commiting to a legally binding contract. Unless the contract is made at your home, you are not entitled to cancel so be sure that it is accurate by reading the terms of the agreement carefully to ensure they are in accordance with quotation provided. If you enter into a contract at home, you may have a short period where you are entitled to cancel. See our cancellation rights advice for further information.
Completion of works – once works are complete carry out a thorough inspection and ensure that all the items listed on the contract have been completed to your satisfaction. Once you are happy with the work completed then you can pay the final account. If you are unhappy with any aspects of the work, make a ‘snag’ list and discuss these with the business straight away. In these circumstances you are entitled to retain a reasonable amount of money pending completion or resolution of the snags.
If you have a complaint, and you have used a Register member, contact the Register team and we will help you resolve your complaint.