Monday, 16 June 2014

Home Improvements

This post is a guest article written by a freelance writer.

When you’re getting building work done in the home, it can be a bit of a pain in the neck, to say the least. For the days, weeks or even months that you’re getting the renovations, these people – usually, random men – are suddenly like permanent fixtures. Not only will they be around constantly (meaning it’s probably not acceptable anymore to mooch around in your PJs until the afternoon…), they’ll tend to expect stuff, too. Cups of tea. Coffee. Biscuits… and the list goes on.

Having strangers traipsing through your home requires a certain level of respect, from them, and trust, from you. When you’ve got children, this is tenfold. It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want just anyone around your kids, which is why it’s important to go with someone credible! Particularly with big projects, like when you’re getting that fancy conservatory you’ve always wanted, it’s a good plan to pick someone experienced.

Gosh. Where to start?! Daunting, right? There are obviously thousands of construction experts in every city, but as an example, when people in my local area require assistance, they opt for someone like Steve Gilbert, who is able to boast years and years of work in the field. Quite obviously though, not everyone reading this is going to live in Peterborough, which means that choosing someone when you’re going for an expensive change can be really scary. With the help of websites like Rated People, you can actually see what other people have said about any given builder in your vicinity, and their reputation will precede them. It’s a pretty good idea, because word of mouth is how these people get by, meaning you’ll know the truth before you take the plunge.

It’s always a good idea to communicate with people because in fairness, if you don’t tell them what you expect, then how on earth are they supposed to know?! Now, you’re not the qualified one, sure, so there is bound to be a little give-and-take here. But arming yourself with even a little knowledge will be helpful in the long run, even if you just show them a few snaps of work you’ve seen elsewhere that looks nice. If you’re planning an extension or a conservatory, reading this handy guide from Channel 4 might put you at an advantage. Remember, taking an interest will pay off because it’s your own home you’re improving, and after all, they say ‘home, sweet home’ for a reason!

Clearly, things don’t always go quite as you’d like, unfortunately. But that’s even more reason to put in some serious planning and forward thinking. And if all else fails? Substandard or even dangerous work in a house filled with little ones is never, ever something you should just accept. Solicitors Taylor Rose have produced a great guide about building disputes and things to watch out for, so that you know your rights when it comes to any issues that could – but hopefully won’t – come up. Good luck!

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