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How to avoid cowboy tradesmen

Cowboy tradesmen has cost the UK £3.7 billion in the past 5 years, that’s an alarming £737 per year. This is the cost Brits had to pay out to repair botched jobs caused by ‘cowboys’.

A survey carried out by Sainsbury’s Home Insurance alarmingly shows 13 percent of the UK (6.2 million) has fallen foul of dodgy tradesmen. Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance, said: “We’re concern that so many homeowners have to rectify poor workmanship carried out by people they’ve employed in good faith to work in their homes”.

“It’s completely unacceptable that the remedial costs are exceeding £700 million. Of course the burden isn’t just financial; there can be a great deal of personal stress attached to these difficult situations including the clean up and often confrontation”.

The most popular type of home improvement scam tends to involve roofing, boilers, drives and cavity wall insulation – says OFT

‘Your doorstep, your decision’ has been launched by the OFT to help and make homeowners of how rogue traders operate

How can I avoid a rogue tradesman?

  • If they claim to be Gas Safe registered check their ID (You can also visit and check for yourself).
  • Check the tradesman’s ID and ask for references
  • Obtain customers references of work they have recently carried out and speak to them if you have the opportunity
  • Don’t say ‘YES’ to one quote, shop around and compare
  • Avoid buying off a door to door tradesman who’s cold calling
  • Don’t buy on the spot and don’t pay in full upfront

One way to reduce this problem is by removing their cash incentive. Take a Gas Safe engineer for example, they may replace and charge you for parts that are not needed or required. One solution is to book a fixed price boiler repair to deal with your boiler fault. This means when the boiler engineer comes out to repair your boiler, they are not incentivised to replace and charge you for unnecessary parts because you’ve already paid upfront for a fixed price boiler repair.