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January/February 2014

news TrustMark numbers soar in 2013 FEATURES IN THIS ISSUE:

Air Conditioning & Ventilation (MVHR) Smart Homes Underfloor Heating Roof lights Ecobuild Show Preview

National Homebuilding & Renovating Show Preview



Cover image © Inspired Dwellings, see page 57

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How to find reputable tradespeople for your 2014 home improvement projects

With the UK finally emerging from a pro- longed recession and consumer confidence returning, many homeowners will be plan- ning improvements in 2014 – extensions, new kitchens, bathrooms, boiler upgrades and perhaps renewable energy technolo- gies. From the long established Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) comes useful advice to homeowners on how to find reputable traders for such work and some simple guidelines to follow when deal- ing with them.

improvements, repairs and maintenance work on their home or garden. “So for peace of mind only ask TrustMark

registered companies to quote for your home improvement. Then follow these simple guide- lines to ensure a satisfactory outcome: • Obtain written and itemised quotes from at least three companies. Getting quotes will give you a realistic guide to how much the work is likely to cost and it will also help you look at ways to save money, if you need to.

• Itemised quotes will help you to compare what different traders charge for each part of the work. They will also help you to decide which part you can remove if the costs are higher than your budget allows. Check that traders are estimating a similar time period to complete the job and check that the quote includes everything in your list of required work. • Quotes should include VAT. If it is not mentioned, check whether it is included and write down the final amount you will be asked to pay. Agree how payments will be made and discuss potential delays to the work including who is responsible for them and any costs related to delays.

Roderick Pettigrew, B&ES chief executive,

says: “Regrettably, far too many rogue traders operate in the UK, and to help com- bat their rip off tactics there are a growing number of trade competence and ‘Buy with Confidence’ schemes around. “The one we recommend is TrustMark and

it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s the only scheme officially endorsed and backed by the government. TrustMark was set up specifically to help homeowners and consumers locate local reputable tradespeople to carry out quality

• Have regular meetings with the contractor and raise any issues as they arise – don’t wait until the end of the work.

• Have a clear idea of when the final payment is due and remember that you are entitled to withhold a reasonable amount of money to ensure that any problems are put right.

• Check that your local authority Building Control Department has signed off key stages of the work if they are required to.”

Enq. 101

TrustMark recorded its greatest year to date last year for tradesmen with over 5 million search results provided. Stuart Carter, head of PR & Marketing at TrustMark, said: “Soaring energy prices coupled with extreme weather have been key contributors for homeowners seeking out our tradesmen last

year. We are delighted to see such high fig- ures as it shows that consumers are searching for qualified and reputable tradesmen to do their work rather than looking on any ‘find a trader’ websites, which carry out little or no checks on the firms they are listing. Go to for more information.


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