Heavenly advice to avoid contractors from hell

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Taking on a contracting team is always a slightly risky endeavour but there are ways to minimise the potential for future problems. As well as doing your research about firms you haven't heard of, you need to be wary of those that canvas you in an unsolicited manner but we will cover all of that in this article for you.

Never underestimate just how much of an impact an unscrupulous or inexperienced contractor would have on your home and any projects you plan to complete. So, take a look at our tips for avoiding the hell of contractor issues and see if you could protect yourself and your home.

Be aware of common scams

The most common scam to be aware of is 'one day only' pricing. While this might be a tempting offer, you need to remember that this is nothing more than a high-pressure sales technique that will try to play to weaknesses of bargain hunting and ego.

More often than not, high-class homes, such as this one decorated by Interior Desires, are targeted by unscrupulous teams that want to make your house a 'show home' for their portfolio. This is not usually followed up with quality work so be wary before you hire a contractor you don't know.

Steer clear of pressured selling techniques

When you are looking to hire a contractor you should at no point feel as though they are pressuring you into taking a direction that you weren't planning on originally. In fact, they should be quoting you for a project that has the requisite permissions and nothing else.

Any good contractor will advise you about how your aims can be accomplished in an easier or more cost-effective manner but if you are feeling pressured by a potential contractor, don't give in. If they continue to press you it's time to say goodbye and find someone more professional.

Door-to-door contractors should ring alarm bells

La Falaise: rustic Houses by CCD Architects
CCD Architects

La Falaise

CCD Architects

Never, EVER take the word of someone who has come to cold-call at your front door. There will be absolutely no way for you to check that they are who they say they are or that they are qualified to offer the services they are trying to quote you for, so don't let them inside your property under any circumstances.

Before you hire a contractor you will want to do plenty of research. By all means take a business card from someone who has called on you unexpectedly and from there you can find out as much about them as possible. Try to remember what they look like as well just in case they turn out to be someone that the police could do with knowing about.

Treat flyers with healthy scepticism

Mulberry:   by Coupdeville
Coupdeville

Mulberry

Coupdeville

While there could be a host of very reputable, high-quality teams out there that flyer about their services, this could also be a technique employed by less sought after contracting teams to drum up business. You should always be on your guard and extremely cautious with companies that opt for direct marketing.

As with cold-callers, take a flyer but always look to see the quality of craftsmanship for yourself. If you are interested in hiring a contracting team, call their head office and find out where you can go to assess their skills and speak to some former clients.

Be aware that disputes can even happen with ethical contractors

When you hire a contractor it's worth remembering that even if you select a well-known, reputable and talented firm, there is always the potential for conflicts to occur so try to be prepared in case the worst does happen. If you have commissioned a new living room, for example, but the end result is sub-par, you have every right to complain and ask for the work to be corrected to the standard of the original agreed brief.

Nobody likes to hear that they haven't done a great job with something so you should expect some argument if you decide to press for repair work and this could even require you to get legal representation.

Make sure you have a construction contract in place

See some of our German branded kitchens! Effortless style for your dream kitchen! : modern Kitchen by PTC Kitchens
PTC Kitchens

See some of our German branded kitchens! Effortless style for your dream kitchen!

PTC Kitchens

If you want to be as prepared as possible when you hire a contractor, look into drawing up a construction contract that clearly states what you have asked the team in place to build and what timescale and budget they have quoted for the job itself.

If the unfortunate should happen and you want to contest that the work completed is not up to the standard promised or expected, a contract that you have both signed will protect you and your interests to a huge degree. Just think of it as an extra layer of insurance!

For more house building inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Building vs Buying: A Comprehensive House Guide. It's all a case of juggling getting exactly what you want with the potential upheaval of working with a contracting team that you don't see eye-to-eye with!

What do you look for in the contractors that you hire? Have you had any bad experiences? Share them with us...
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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