advice Five steps to a smooth home improvement

o ensure a home improvement project runs smoothly, Judith Turner, head of ADR and senior ombudsman at The Furniture Ombudsman has five tips on sourcing suppliers.


1. Buy from a trader who is a member of an ADR scheme

When it comes to home improvement, it is not just about what you buy but also who you buy from. Traders who are members of an alternative

dispute resolution (ADR) scheme are committed to responsible retailing and will look after their consumers from purchase enquiries right through the installation to snagging works, and includ- ing anything that goes wrong down the line.

2. Know your obligations

It’s not all about the trader’s obligations. There is an obligation on you to research what you are buying and check that it has been cor- rectly ordered. Your installer has the obligation to check that the product ordered will work in the space you have and that they can install it. This is known as the pre-fit survey and is

done to highlight any issues before the instal- lation begins.

3. Expect disruption but plan ahead

Whatever your project is, you can be certain there will be a lot of disruption and mess! You can mitigate this by: • Removing anything breakable and/or valuable – even with the most careful of fitters, accidents can happen

• Making provision for any pets – it will be your responsibility to make sure they are safe and out of the way

• Making sure that any deviation from the initial plan is agreed and followed up in writing so that everything is clear

4. Expect snagging work

Once the installer has left your property, there may still be some additional works to be com- pleted. This is known as snagging and is usu- ally left until the end to deal with the minor mat- ters which may occur once the space is in use, so plan for a return visit to assess this.

5. Adjust your expectations if something goes wrong

If things do go wrong, the legal remedy would be repeat performance. You might be able to claim compensation for delays, but compensa- tion for inconvenience itself is particularly difficult to quantify.


Self-Build Zone provides Site Insurance and liability cover for anyone starting new building works, as well as covering any existing structures on site.

Our Approved Inspectors can facilitate all survey services you may need during the build or for the warranty provision. On completion, Build-Zone can provide you with a 10 Year Structural Warranty.

For more information or to obtain a quotation go online at or Call the Self-Build Zone Team on 0345 230 9874 Enq. 103 10 selfbuilder & homemaker

Self Build Zone

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