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Selecting the right home improvement contractor – the essentials

If you are thinking of undertaking some home improvements, your next decision will be how to find a reputable contractor to do the work. Why not follow some of our general guidelines before you engage that contractor? They might just help you reduce the risk of problems further down the line.

Recommendations

So if you are looking to install an awning for an outdoor entertaining area, for example, one of the best ways to find a suitable contractor to do the work, is to ask friends and family, who may have had similar awnings installed in the past. And if they live in the locality, you can see for yourself the standard of the work the contractor has delivered. Contractors working around a locality generally have their business reputation to protect and often rely on referrals from satisfied local clients and the trading partners they deal with.

Member of a Trade Association?

You can also check the contractor’s credentials to see if they are listed with a trade association. This will demonstrate that they follow a code of practice and have the necessary qualifications to show that they are professionally competent to do the work. Then, in the event that you are unsatisfied with work completed, you can appeal to the trade association to negotiate with the contractor on your behalf. Your Choice Home Improvements are registered with Check A Trade and also DGCOS accredited to ensure our customers get the best service and peace of mind.

Where are they based?

Can you visit the contractor at their premises or do they trade out of a van? A simple check such as this could help you avoid an unreliable contractor completing your home improvement work. It is important that you can contact them easily at their premises to avoid a situation where a contractor doesn’t complete the work and you have no means of contacting them.

Quotations

It is always a good idea to get three quotations in writing. This will not only give you the cost but also what will be included in the work. Some contractors may quote a daily rate, but it is recommended that you ask for a quote for the entire project, in case the contractor takes longer than expected to complete the work.

Specifications

Ask the contractor to specify what type of fixtures and fittings are used. That attractive quote for a new retractable roof may seem reasonable because the contractor is using cheaper materials and therefore the longevity of your products may be compromised. At Your Choice, we offer a 10-year fully insured guarantee with many of our home improvements.

Payment

Be clear with the contractor regarding terms of payment and check if the contractor is registered for VAT, and offers guaranteed work. Payment by credit card is also good advice, as this may offer extra protection, in case you need to make a claim against the contractor.

Remember, it is always risky to pay with cash, even though a contractor may offer the incentive of a price cut deal, as you run the risk of losing your money altogether.

It is exciting planning home improvements but don’t let that be spoilt by employing an unreliable contractor. By following these basic guidelines, you can put your mind at ease and enjoy your new outdoor entertaining area.

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