Check out that builder

If you keep your home in good shape, you'll reap the rewards, according to the Federation of Master Builders.

If you keep your home in good shape, you'll reap the rewards, according to the Federation of Master Builders.

If you are undertaking maintenance work yourself, check out the federation's tips in the panel, right.

However, if you are thinking of employing someone to help you with the work, ensure you engage someone who is reputable.

Cowboy builders are very much in the minority, according to the FMB, but they are out there, so how can you protect yourself?

You may also want to watch:

The FMB says treat them with suspicion if they:

t Evade giving you references or details of previous jobs.

Most Read

t Offer you a “cheap” deal for cash-in-hand.

t Suggest you can avoid paying VAT for cash.

t Confuse you with jargon and complicated explanations while discussing the job.

t Insist that a written contract is not necessary.

t Say they can start tomorrow (a good builder is usually busy).

t Can't give you costings because “things might change”.

t Laugh when you suggest showing them plans.

t Give you a surprisingly low quote.

t Can only be reached by mobile and don't have an address on their card.

t Assure you the details are their problem and you don't need to worry.

t Knock the opposition.

The FMB's Find A Builder service is available by logging on to or by telephoning 0800 0152 522.


t Start at the top - check the roof for any missing or damaged tiles or cracks in roofing felt.

t Make sure you have up-to-date damp proofing.

t Check rainwater pipes and guttering for any damage and clear away any blockages. Replace damaged or rusted cast-iron guttering.

t Make sure your drains are

working properly and unblock them regularly.

t Get cracked brickwork and crumbling pointing repaired.

t Check your chimney stack for cracks or signs of damp.

t Repaint peeling external paintwork, especially on wooden door or window frames.

t Repair or replace damaged frames.

t Check and mend fences and treat with wood preservative.

t Check draught proofing around the letterbox, doors and windows.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus