The West Midlands branch of RICS has welcomed new government measures to protect the public from incompetent cowboy builders.
Tradesmen who operate self-check schemes, which allow them to assess their own work, will need to be accredited to an international quality standard in order to operate, the Department for Communities and Local Government said on June 6.
Under the system there are also 18 independent organisations that will now conduct unannounced spot-checks, rather than intermittent prearranged inspections, to make the scheme more rigorous.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which regulates property professionals and surveyors, also highlighted the importance of using a professional builder.
RICS spokesperson for the West Midlands, Alan Carter of ABC Solutions (UK), said: “Too often contractors get a very sketchy scope of work given to them and, as such, only price for work and items that have been specifically asked for by the client – resulting in cheaper quotes. “However, contractors should always try to fully anticipate the requirements of the client and provide a quotation based on this, including a breakdown so that they can see what has been included and what is necessary to complete the work to the highest standard.
“If the client is inexperienced in procuring construction work they need to fully understand what’s included in the price, and what isn’t, otherwise they are putting themselves at risk of buying something that won’t meet their expectation.”
RICS, which sets standards in all property sectors including that of construction, has produced a guide in conjunction with its Building Cost Information Service, called The Property Makeover Price Guide.
The guide says builders should itemise the work that a customer wants and provide a written cost schedule, which will enable both parties to agree a completion date.
It also advises that no payments should be made before the builder starts work; scheduled payments must be agreed with the contractor in advance and homeowners must always hold back a sum of at least five per cent until completion of the works.