I’m a home improvement expert – here are the ways to spot a rogue builder

MORE than one in five homeowners admit they have no idea how to spot a rogue tradesperson.

A study of 2,000 adults has found a whopping 49 percent don’t know how to tell if they are verified or not.

New research out today found 1 in 5 homeowners wouldn't be able to recognise a rogue tradesperson if they turned up at their door - can you?


New research out today found 1 in 5 homeowners wouldn’t be able to recognise a rogue tradesperson if they turned up at their door – can you?Credit: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Just under five in ten (47 percent) also said they have no idea what qualifications to look out for when hiring a tradesperson.

As a result, 60 percent admitted the idea of having to source a tradesperson to do work on their home fills them with anxiety.

In a separate study, Checkatrade put the findings to the test by asking people to pick out the verified tradesperson from a line-up.

But only a third said they weren’t sure just from looking at them, while just 15 percent picked the right trade – Lucy Robinson, pictured sixth right.

The locksmith, from East Sussex, said: “Reputation is crucial in the trade industry, and rogue trades operating in this environment gives our industry a bad name.

“It’s important homeowners understand just how difficult rogue trades are to spot, and why it is so important to carry out checks to make sure your work is being carried out by a suitable skilled and qualified trustworthy trade.”

Mike Fairman, CEO at Checkatrade, added: ‘High demand for tradespeople, the rising cost of living and the ongoing raw materials shortage have placed a huge amount of pressure on the home improvement industry, creating the ideal environment for rogue trades to step in and take advantage.

“On the surface it’s impossible to tell the cowboys from the good guys, and you don’t want to risk finding out as a result of a botched job.

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“The best way to avoid rogue trades is to only hire suitably skilled and qualified workers.

“It’s this principal that led to the launch of Checkatrade in the first place.’’

Tips for keeping rogue traders at bay

Be wary of high availability

Some unverified trades will take advantage of busy periods or moments of crisis such as extreme weather. Make sure you read reviews of their past work, and ensure they are vetted and qualified to undertake the project.

Be careful of cheap quotes

If the cost seems too good to be true, it most likely is. The cheapest quote is normally only cheaper because it’s been rushed or corners have been cut.

And remember, cheap work can’t always be rectified.

Beware of being asked for full payment upfront

Don’t agree to making full payment in advance of work being undertaken. Make sure you recieve a detailed written quote that includes terms and conditions, and states what will be covered by the quote – and what won’t.

Never accept work from trades who doorstep

Forty-four percent of people have been doorstepped, but reputable trades will never carry out this practice. Never be pressured into having work done by someone who knocks on your door out of the blue.

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