How To Avoid Rip Off Cowboy Builders

rip off cowboy builders

Do your research

Online research is so important when searching for a builder. Many companies and sites offer access to consumer reviews and information. Do your research, check out the reviews and see if your chosen builder has a good track record, can they be trusted? 

Membership bodies

A significant yet often overlooked factor is that most good and recognised builders will be members of at least one trade body such as the federation of master builders, the guild of master craftsmen or FENSA – one thing to note is to always double check a builder membership claims. Never just take their word for it, there is nothing wrong with asking for some proof.

Check your finances

You can do this on companies house – make sure the builders you’re hiring are in a good financial situation by having a quick read over their financial records on the companies house website.

Get a few quotes

It’s always better to be safe than sorry! Getting a few different quotes, always double checking and ensuring that the contracts cover the entire scope of the work that is due to be done is absolutely essential. Never make an agreement based on a handshake! If the builder refuses to sign a contract or produce any paperwork that in itself is a huge red flag. No paperwork or contract signed will end up leaving you with no hard copies to fall back on should something go wrong!

Cash upfront payments

Be wary! If a builder insists on cash payments as it doesn’t provide you with proof of a transaction, nor does it give you much comeback if the builder ends up not completing the work or does an inadequate job. Services should only be paid for if the job is completed to a satisfactory job, whether that be in installments or a full payment.

Trust your gut

Your instinct is usually right, so trust it! If something feels off, be cautious. Remember there’s no such thing as being too prepared, it is your house and your money! 

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