A good builder is a busy builder

Deborah Smith, South Wales Echo

I saw a report on the news recently about a builder who was prosecuted for charging a woman £80,000 for doing her driveway. I’m very worried that I could get targeted in such a way. Can you give me some advice?

Debs says: Always be suspicious of people who turn up at your door offering to do building work for you. It’s not a good sign if someone knocks on your door and says they can start a job the following day – a good builder will be a busy builder.Š

Ask family and friends if they can recommend good and reputable builders.

You can also ring Care & Repair 0300 111 3333 and ask them for a list of approved tradespeople. By getting three quotes, you will be able to check to see if what is being charged is fair and competitive so you don’t end up paying over the odds.

It’s also worth remembering that many of the dodgy builders we hear about do work on people’s houses that is totally unnecessary, so that’s a good reason to think through and plan your project properly rather than just letting a cold-caller work on your house.

If you have suspicious people knocking your door offering to do building work for you, just ask them to go away. Remember the tried and tested adage of ‘if in doubt, keep them out.’ Also, don’t be afraid to report suspicious callers to the police by ringing 101.

If someone has taken money from you, is in your home or still in the local area, don’t hesitate to call 999.Š