Try to prevent many of the problems which arise with builders before using one.
1) Get 3 quotes and describe the job you need in detail.
2) Discuss the length of time the job will take. A rough price is an estimate and a fixed price a quote. If you don’t agree a price then the Consumer Rights Act 2015 dictates that you are entitled to a “reasonable price”. That of course depends on the job and could be difficult to quantify, so always get a price agreed.
3) If it’s a large job get a contract drawn up. The Defective Premises Act 1972 provides a claimant with 6 years from the completion of the building work to make a claim if they consider the building to be defective. It relates to work undertaken by builders, developers, surveyors, architects etc. “Defective” is limited to work causing the property to be unfit for human habitation as a result of design, workmanship or materials. Improvement, small jobs and refurbishments are not covered by the Act but for services prior to October 1st 2015 you are covered by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 which entitle you to work undertaken with reasonable skill and care and within a reasonable length of time. For services after then, use the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
4) You can contact the Master Federation of Builders who will give practical advice and support to the general public on choosing and working with the right builder
5) The Painting and Decoration Association members either hold formal qualifications in painting and decorating (City & Guilds, NVQs etc.) or have a minimum of five years’ experience in the industry. They comply with the Association’s Code of Practice. In Scotland, the Scottish Decorators Federation members must comply with their Code of Conduct.
Further help when using builders
Top tips for a stress-free building project an article I wrote for Moneywise which gives further detail for preventing problems and what to put in a contract etc. How to ensure a stress-free building project
If you do have problems, see 6 Top tips for problems with builders/painters/decorators use the tips to complain and of course you can