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How to spot a rogue trader...

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  • How to spot a rogue trader...

    How to spot a rogue trader
    Cold callers may use these lines to frighten homeowners into doing business with them

    "You have loose tiles on your roof"
    "Your roof has been leaking"
    "I see cracked brickwork on your house"
    "You need to have some pointing on your chimney"
    "You need some work doing on your driveway"
    "I'm doing some work in the area and have materials left over which we need to use up"
    "I'm doing some work for the council down the road"
    "I'm doing free property surveys to check if you have any rising damp"
    "Your brickwork is acting like a sponge soaking up the rainwater" (Ignore this popular line as bricks are supposed to behave like this!!)

    These are the things cold callers will say need doing

    Roofing repairs
    Gardening services, tree surgery
    Path or driveway work
    Block paving or tarmac driveways
    Damp proofing
    General maintenance work
    Guttering repairs
    Fascia boarding repairs
    Wall surface coatings

    How do I get rid of these rogues?

    Do not engage in conversation with them
    Say you do not buy goods and services at the door
    Say you need to compare prices
    Say you have to discuss it with your partner, son, daughter or friend

    In the case of the elderly, particularly those living alone, it is well worth thinking about having a son or daughter authorised as a joint signatory on bank accounts for amounts over, say £200.

    If you think your house needs work, then these are the steps you should take.

    Never EVER employ a cold caller

    Always use a professional builder who is recommended for doing similar work or a bona fide member of a trade association, see the list below. Alternatively you can submit online free to get quotes from a pre-vetted tradesperson and then rate and recommend them afterwards.

    Talk to the builder's previous customers. Go and see the jobs they have done and make sure the customers were happy. Check they completed the job properly and came within/on budget.

    Produce a detailed written specification for the work you want done.

    Ask at least three builders to provide written quotes.

    Make sure the builders' quotes cover everything you would like done, including the supply of materials, removal of rubbish and making good after the work is finished.
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