It is a truth universally acknowledged that there are many obligations on businesses to ensure an installation project conforms to the plethora of legislation designed to protect consumers and ensure their safety, but there are also some practical things consumers can do to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
You know your property better than the traders who are involved in your Home Improvements and whilst there is always the possibility of unforeseen occurrences, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself.
Here are the Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman’s top tips!
Research your trader
Make sure you carry out due diligence to ensure you know who you are letting into your property. Traders who are members of the Ombudsman are committed to best practice and responsible trading, but you should still check in advance the names of the installation team and verify their identification.
Access all Areas
Make sure that the access to the property is safe and unhindered. Tell your neighbours that there is likely to be disruption and make provision for your trader to park in a safe manner.
Remove anything valuable from the pathways and areas to which the traders have access – even with the most careful trader, inadvertent damage could occur.
Children, pets and the vulnerable
Discuss with your trader in advance of the project to agree boundaries – where will the trader be allowed to go? It will be your responsibility to ensure that pets and children are kept out of harm’s way, so if certain areas of your house are a “no-go”, make sure your trader knows – put it in writing to make sure.
Check the contract!
Who is responsible for what? A project which involves sub-contractors may mean a lack of coherent project management could cause more than delays. If roles and responsibilities are clearly defined from the outset, this could avoid issues down the line with practical issues such as ongoing rubbish removal, skip location and site clearance at the conclusion of a project.
If something occurs which was unforeseen, take advice from the experts. Work within a property can unearth all sorts of hidden elements from asbestos to issues relating with existing services. It may be that additional expense will be incurred to put this right, but if the experts recommend this it may be an unavoidable cost of a safe installation. If you are unsure, certification bodies will be able to assist with sound, independent advice and inspection services.
Whilst therefore, it is certainly true to say that the burden of responsibility will fall on the trader to ensure a safe and compliant service, you can assist by asking the right questions to ensure the project goes as smoothly and safely as possible.