Avoid Cowboy Builders in Kent

Anyone that works in the construction industry in the south east of England will tell you that  like all over the UK, cowboys are a problem for honest builders in Kentbuilders in kent UKVarious watchdog organisations will receive on average complaints in excess of 100,000 on this subject alone.  A cowboy builder usually has no real skill or knowledge and is basically a con artist that hopes to get his hands on the money before the customers realises that something has gone badly wrong.  In most cases the work doesn’t even get finished before the cowboy has ridden off into the sunset and it is the reputable builders in Kent that get the fall out.  Although the amount of complaints sounds scary remember this is a minority problem,  every time they try and pull off another scam job they are at risk of being caught – and there are organisation including the police working to stamp them out.  Try not to let them put you off booking yourself a builder – just follow these simple tips to stay safe.

As irritating as things like VAT and books are to businesses all legitimate builders in Kent (and indeed across the country) will accept that this is how they must work.  If you find yourself in a ‘nudge nudge’ ‘wink wink’ conversation with a builder, where he is promising you that cash in hand will cost you less and there won’t be any need for VAT….run.  Simple as that.  An above board company just wont do it – thank them for their time and walk away.

Be very wary of companies that don’t seem to want to put things in writing.  You need to cover yourself anyway, if you are having planning permission and building regulations involved – which is very likely – you will want things like written quotes and contracts to pop on the file.  If you cannot get a quote on paper, or the builder in Kent tries to convince you that a contract is not really going to help then think again.  Again – this is something you want anyway to protect your financial investment in the company from a legal standpoint.  Finally during the quote process watch out for things like ‘£500 upfront and we can start this afternoon’  Reputable builders are probably going to have a lead time of a few weeks on none emergency jobs.

Pay attention to the vehicle they pull up in, is it sign written – most large builders do try and create themselves a visual presence – it is in their interest if your next door neighbour sees who built your wonderful new conservatory!  Can they show you a business card, headed paper anything that suggests they are really what they claim.  Again Mr Cowboy probably can’t – and may well try and distract you or change the subject if you start pushing for things.  Finally, look for registration with a governing body – all trades have them and builders in Kent that are reputable will have had no problem registering with one.

Richard Todd writes for Building Times and Brickworksoutheast.co.uk on a regular basis.

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