6 Top Tips for problems with builders/ painters & decorators

paintProblem with a builder or painter decorator? Need to know what to do to resolve things? Follow these specific tips first when employing a builder or painter and decorators. But if it’s too late here’s what you can do:

1) Try to resolve the matter in person or over the ‘phone before formally writing if you have a complaint.

2) Give the trader an opportunity to remedy the work. If they refuse to do this or they fail to do it satisfactorily then you can take the matter further.

3) Ensure that you state that you retain your legal rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 so that you are still able to claim if necessary afterwards when you write to complain.

4) Should the trader not respond or not remedy the work, proceed with getting an independent report and 3 quotes.   Get the work done and write to the trader requesting this amount attaching the paperwork. You could attach a quote before the work is done to give the trader one last chance if you wish.

5) If the trader is a member of a trade association you can contact it and see if you are able to use a resolution scheme.

6) If all else fails and you have the evidence you can go the Small Claims Court. I took a builder to court (details in the book) and won.

New houses
The Consumer Code for Homebuilders is an industry-led code of conduct for builders, which was developed to make the home buying process fairer and more transparent for purchasers and is adopted by the main warranty providers. The Code consists of requirements and principles that home builders must meet in their marketing and selling of homes and their after-sales customer service. As part of this code warranty providers must provide a complaint procedure. There is a dispute resolution scheme to deal with complaints within two years of buying a home, if builders don’t comply with the code. The scheme can award up to £15,000.

You can find numerous template letters for complaining to traders in the book.

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2 thoughts on “6 Top Tips for problems with builders/ painters & decorators”

  1. Number 1 is very important. Following that tip can save both parties enormous amount of time, money and stress that may arise. Great practical tips you got here!

  2. Here’s some other top tips:
    * Never accept a quote that seems much lower than others without questions and always get a breakdown of an estimate in writing, it will help agree cost of changes as the work progresses.
    * Never assume you know better than the builder how to deal with the unexpected arising in the course of the works, it is a skilled profession and most good builders want to provide a good job and avoid problems, talk to them, be willing to accept advice.
    * Never play about with witholding money against interim invoices to force your builder to do more work before due payment, if you are not satisfied you hold all the power to complain and be reimbursed. Builders have to invest large sums in gearing up and supplying materials, they will already be over a barrel and committed to keeping the flow of supplies to site. Late payment or witholding money means they have problems funding your job to meet your programme and unnecessarily stresses relationships.
    * Do NOT assume all builders are cowboys out to fleece you, like everyone else they want to do a good job and be fairly paid. You are their employer, treat them decently and politely. If you have employed a cheat that is your mistake for not properly checking their credentials first.
    * Do not with-hold money or demand extra work completed because it is Christmas, builders have families too. It is surprising how often payments get somehow held over until the New Year.
    * Happy Christmas

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