I've been reminded recently of some of the pitfalls of home-improvements in Richmond upon Thames, mostly through friends and families embarking on building extensions or remodeling of their houses. If you've ever seen television programmes such as Homes From Hell, Rougue Traders, or The Cowboy Trap, you'll be familiar with other people's horror stories of inexperienced or dodgy builders.
To avoid falling victim to charlatans and incompetents, with any trade it's obviously a good idea to pay attention to personal recommendations. Selecting the best of any local business is clearly what thebestof Richmond is all about.
If you're unfamiliar with how thebest Richmond of works, we pick the best recommended business locally, with a full feature on each one - plus a whole host of personal testimonials detailing how good their clientele really think they are - perfect i'd say.
From each of these features, you can access any Testimonials from satisfied customers.
Besides finding trades you can trust, there are some other simple guidelines recommended by experts, to help avoid being caught out with dodgy work or invoicing.
For large jobs, if possible contact previous customers and talk to them about - even see - the work carried out
It's not always possible, especially on smaller jobs, to have a formal written quote or contract drawn up. In which case, putting your own understanding of the work and monies involved into a letter or email is a good idea.
One key piece of advice mentioned often in the television programs that it shouldn't be necessary to pay for work or materials upfront. Reputable trades should be able to get their materials on account at their suppliers, usually paying a month after invoice.
Hopefully the successful trades will also have enough money in their banks to pay for their labour as required!
Agree a payment plan with them, preferably relating to completion of stages. If specialist materials are required, it might be an idea to pay for these yourself, therefore retaining ownership of the goods.
Following these simple ideas, and doing a bit of research, should help keep you safe and happy with your chosen tradesperson - and remember, for the best always come to thebestof Richmond!
I launched The Best of Richmond in 2005 and am passionate about supporting all things local. In particular, we work hard to showcase the best local businesses who give the borough its character and make...