When a damp or timber issue appears in your home one of the first things that people worry about is cost and then inconvenience. If you are unfamiliar with solutions to these problems, you may also be concerned that someone is going to recommend the correct treatments. Here are 10 tips to finding a great company.
1. It is always best to trust an expert so it’s worth checking that any company you approach is a member of the Property Care Association (PCA) who are the trade association for specialists resolving these issues.
2. Why not look at the company website and see if there are positive reviews. Do they mention clients they regularly work for that you may have heard of? E.g National Trust
3. Does the company have accreditations such as CHAS, SafeContractor or Constructionline? In order to meet the requirements of these accreditations, companies need to provide evidence of compliance with health and safety legislation, up to date training and insurance cover as well as meeting many other stringent criteria.
4. Do they have a social media presence? This is a good indicator that they are happy to engage with customers online and aren’t afraid of feedback from clients.
5. You may want to get 2 or 3 quotes from different companies to compare prices and recommendations.
6. When you call to book a survey, the company should be able to assure you that your data will be stored safely and in line with GDPR. They will need to hold a certain amount of personal data in order to carry out the survey, but they should be able to advise you on their data retention policy and they should be able to confirm that your data will not be passed on for marketing purposes.
7. Once you have found a company you are happy with it is worth checking the credentials of the Surveyor who is coming out to the property. Although Surveyors may have additional qualifications, someone holding their CSRT (Certified Surveyor in Remedial Treatments) and CSSW (Certified Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing) should have the knowledge necessary to assess what is wrong and make recommendations to resolve the problems.
8. Once you receive the report/quotation, it is best to take time and read through it, as it is an important document and forms a part of the contract you may enter into. If there is anything that appears unclear or if you need further clarification you should not hesitate to call the company and ask for more information.
9. Does the report mention guarantees or back-up insurance such as GPI (Guarantee Protection Insurance) to cover the work once its been completed? Although not all types of work are guaranteed many are, and GPI allows you to make a one-off payment to cover the guarantee, should the company go out of business before the guarantee period is up, giving you peace of mind.
10. If you are happy with the report/quotation and decide you want to go ahead with the work the company should be happy to confirm their attendance and costs in writing. They should also send you a copy of their health and safety paperwork or RAMS (Risk Assessment and Method Statement), which details the scope of works and any materials/chemicals to be used.