14 Jul Why is it so important that your North London builder is a member of a reputable trade body?
When you instruct a builder to work on your home, you do so with an element of faith. Faith in their ability to achieve the goals you set them, to transform your home in the way you wish them to. However, every day in newspapers and on TV news programmes there are examples of what happens when trusting homeowners are let down by those they have put their faith in. So, if you are looking to build an extension, a loft conversion, a new home or to refurbish your old one, how can you stack the odds in your favour, how can you feel more confident that the nice chap standing in front of you telling you they’ll do an amazing job for you will deliver on that promise? The answer is found in the trade bodies they belong to.
1. Ask your builder what associations they are a member of
Step one is to check out the builder’s website. Do they proudly display their association memberships? However, remember that websites are not always kept up to date. While it’s advisable for all businesses to maintain and add to their websites on a regular basis, some might leave theirs untouched for years, so ask your builder which trade bodies they currently belong to. It’s entirely possible that they could be promoting memberships on their site that they no longer have, or don’t have listed ones that they do now belong to.
2. Check they are telling the truth
Yes, I know, shocking though it may be, not everyone tells the truth when asked a question or posts information on their website. All it will take is a phone call to confirm whether they are or are not members of an association, so make that call. It could save you from making a very expensive mistake by putting your faith in the wrong firm.
The leading associations you should be looking out for, along with their current phone numbers, are:
- 0333 555 1234 (available 9am–5pm Monday to Friday)
- trustmark.org.uk/find-a-tradesman is the link to their Find a Trader page where you can put in the name of the company and see whether they are in fact members.
Federation of Master Builders
- 0330 333 7777
- fmb.org.uk/find-a-builder/ is the link to their Find a Builder page to help you look up to see if the builder you’re considering is a member.
3. Understand what it means to be a member of these associations
Membership is not just something you pay for. In many cases there is a set of rules that must be followed, a quality level that must be achieved, and regular assessments to ensure that a business continues to maintain the standards expected of membership.
TrustMark is a Government Endorsed Quality Scheme and you can only become TrustMark registered once you have passed the inspection and approval process of one of their trade association’s certification and inspection bodies. They check a firm’s technical competence, customer service and trading practices to ensure they are worthy of TrustMark approval. This means that approved firms will need to adhere to a framework of operating requirements, a customer charter and a code of conduct and they are regularly assessed against these criteria.
To call yourself a member of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) you must first have been vetted and independently inspected, then inspected again each and every three years to make sure that your standards are still high enough to call yourself a member. The FMB website defines membership as providing “credible proof that your company ranks amongst Britain’s best builders”.
So, if you’re looking for a reliable, affordable, craftsman-like builder to help you to refurbish, extend or build your dream home, one that is registered with both TrustMark and the FMB, give us a call on 0203 021 2140.