Why is this important?
Building work and home improvements
You may need your boiler fixed, or may be looking forward to having your new bathroom or kitchen fitted or extension built. Whatever the job is, it’s important to make sure you find the right tradesperson to do the work, and that you agree on the work that needs doing. This will help the job run smoothly and make sure you avoid misunderstandings and manage disruption and costs.
The pages in the section on Builders and home improvements give more information on all these issues. There are pages on how to find a reliable builder, how to avoid cowboy traders, what your rights are and help to sort out problems when something goes wrong, including sample letters to write.
Quality of building work
Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, your builder should use reasonable care and skill when working, take a reasonable time to do the work and charge a reasonable price.
Materials should also be provided to a certain standard. They should match what the builder has described to you. For example, tiles should be the same colour as you have agreed. Materials should also be, of a satisfactory quality and be fit for purpose. So for example, the builder can’t supply bricks meant for use inside the house for the outside, if they won’t stand up to the weather.
The standard of work and your rights will both depend on the law, plus anything that is written into your contract.
When things go wrong
Sometimes things go wrong during building or repair work. Work may take longer to finish than first suggested, traders will start later than they agreed, or leave your job half way through to finish another job.
You may end up with poor quality work or damaged property or goods, particularly if you have a rogue trader working for you. You may also be asked to pay more than you thought.
One way to avoid problems with building work is to take out a guarantee to guard against bad work, particularly for larger jobs.
Gas and electrical work
If you're having electrical or gas work done, you will need specially qualified people, to meet safety standards. Professional associations can often help you find qualified people in your area.
- Finding a trustworthy builder
- Building organisations
- Problems with goods supplied with building work
- Building work is taking too long
- Poor quality building work
- Top tips on how to spot a cowboy builder
- If you are charged more for building work than you expected
- Building guarantees
- If you need more help