How can you spot a Cowboy Builder?

27 Feb 2023

Here's what to be cautious about when searching for a reputable tradesperson.

When you’re planning any home improvements, you want to make sure that you choose the right person for the job. Unfortunately, there are still many rogue traders and cowboy builders working across the UK. To help you make sure that you pick a reputable tradesperson, here are a few ways to spot a rogue tradesperson before you let them work on your home.

9 warning signs

There are several ways to detect a 'cowboy builder'. To do this, you need to be cautious, do some research, and trust your instincts. Some real ‘red flags’ to look out for that signal a builder is not legit include:

  • They’re in a rush to do the job
  • They insist on cash payment
  • They want payment up front
  • Their quote is too cheap
  • They refuse to sign a contract
  • They refuse to provide a written quote
  • They are unknown in your area
  • They have no online reviews
  • They have no accreditations

This list is by no means exhaustive. It is, however, a good starting point. If a builder behaves in any of these ways, it’s a good idea to look elsewhere and find a more reputable trader.

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How to choose a reputable tradesperson

Choosing a reputable builder may seem difficult. Should you go on personal recommendation? Are online reviews the most important factor to consider? Do you choose someone that has various industry accreditations? The truth is, these things are all important. A reputable builder should have a positive online profile, they should be fully accredited and ideally be recommended by someone you trust.

If a friend or family member hasn’t recommended a builder to you, however, the best way to find a reputable trader is through a third-party association. At The CPA, we have one of the UK’s largest database of reputable builders and installers. All CPA members are fully vetted to ensure they provide only the best levels of workmanship.

CPA registered traders have all the vital industry accreditations and through The CPA offer homeowners a range of financial protection products including insurance backed guarantees, deposit protection schemes, and a selection of finance and insurance packages.

If you’d like to find out more about choosing a CPA member for your next home improvement project, get in touch today. You can call us on 01462 850 064 or contact us online.