We have heard reports of rogue traders that have operated in other flood areas in the country now appearing in Gloucestershire.
Getting repairs done to the house will at the top of your agenda. But do not be pressured into agreeing for work because the trader says they will be “too busy unless you agree there and then” or that they are “only in the area today.”
Householders must contact their insurer as soon as possible. They may want to use their own list of tradesmen.
Take time to shop around and find a suitable reputable firm to carry out the work. You may find the following organisations helpful in this respect:
Once you have drawn up a list of potential builders, there are several things you can look out for to help you make a choice and distinguish reputable firms from the rogues:
- Check if the tradesmen belong to any respected trade organisations.
- Ask how long the company has been in business. Can they supply references from satisfied clients? Can you see work they have done and see where are they based?
- Obtain at least three quotes from firms with whom you feel satisfied.
- Be specific about what you want and check that all the things you asked for are in each quote and the specifications are the same.
- Ask for start and finish dates.
- Ask what guarantee they offer.
- Check how they want to be paid (on completion or in stages?).
- Don’t pay in advance.
- Request all the above in writing.
Please check with the trade association or professional body that they are registered to, so that you can confirm their membership and what rights you have.
Once you have received the quotes check with your insurance company that the firm selected is acceptable before signing a contact or letting them start work on your home.
Other useful contacts include:
Trustmark, www.trustmark.org.uk, 0870 163 7373
National Federation of Builders, www.builders.org.uk, 0870 8989091
Chartered Institute of Building, www.ciob.org.uk, 01344 630700
Federation of Master Builders, www.fmb.org.uk, 08000 152522
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, www.rics.org, 0870 3331600
Citizens Advice Bureaux, www.cheltenhamcab.org.uk, 01242 522491
British Damage Management Association