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How to find a safe home improvement company

Wednesday, 14th October 2020

Whether it’s incorporating a home working space into your property, taking advantage of any extra cash saved during the lockdown, by upgrading your windows and doors, it’s inevitable that an increasing number of the British public will need tradespeople in their homes in the coming weeks and months.

As it stands, just over a quarter (27%) of people feel very comfortable with letting tradespeople into their homes and whilst doing this is completely within the law, it’s important to keep you, and any home improvement companies you hire, safe during any renovations.

First of all, let’s look at the rules surrounding letting home improvement companies into your property. A Tradesperson can continue work in a domestic home, providing that the Tradesperson is well and has no symptoms of COVID-19 and correct health and safety protocols are followed. You can read more about this in our other blog post, here

You’re completely within your rights to have tradespeople in your home but it’s important that they comply with the necessary safety measures. So, before you hire anyone, make sure they do the following:

GGF Members

If relevant for your home improvement project, you should always use a GGF Members company to carry out work on your property. GGF Members adhere to the GGF Consumer Code of Practice as well as all the necessary safety measures, including the specific COVID-19 related safe guidance to ensure that you and your family and any other occupants within your home are safe. All GGF Member companies must also be established and trading for a minimum of three years and are vetted for financial stability so you can rest easy knowing you’re in safe hands. You can find a GGF member local to you here

Consultation

In today’s day and age, initial consultations don’t need to be face to face. Instead, check if the company you are using is happy with a video or telephone call. If you are doing a video call make sure you’re connected to the wifi, your camera and microphone are working and background noise (like TVs and children) are limited. This will ensure the clearest and best communications.

The company you use for your home improvement might also want you to take them on a virtual tour via video of your property before they visit in person so make sure your home is as you’d want to see it before the call.

If you aren’t sure about the types of questions the company you are using might ask on an initial call, our list below may give you an idea:

  • What is it you want from your home improvements? More space? A more modern home? More natural light? Better energy efficiency? Less outside noise?
  • What timeline are you working to? Is there a date you’ve set in mind for completion?
  • Will, you or anyone else be in the property whilst work is being done? Are you working from home?
  • What other types of contractors will you be requiring? Plumbers? Electricians?
  • What budgets are you working to?

Health and safety policy

Any GGF Member company you hire should be working to our Safe Guide or something similar that is based on and references the Government COVID guidelines. It’s not just the initial person you meet that needs to follow this, all employees should be safety aware and adhere to Government guidelines. Don’t be afraid to ask your tradespeople to share their safe working policy and make sure you’re happy with the steps that have been taken. In fact, 40% of people would expect their tradesperson to tell them about all the health and safety steps (from the government, local council or a trade body) that they will take before they arrive and 25% would expect a full risk assessment, so you will certainly not be the first person to request this.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Ask the company you are using what PPE they will be wearing and also ask them if they have the adequate resources to ensure your safety. If you’re having a big build and need to turn the water off, then they may need to arrange their own handwashing/cleaning facilities. From our recent survey, Iit seems that PPE is very important to the general public when it comes to letting people into their home, with homeowners admitting they’d expect the following from tradespeople:

  • They keep a safe distance at least 2m away from me and others (48%)
  • They clean up and disinfect their working area once they’ve finished (40%)
  • They arrive wearing a mask or face covering (39%)
  • They have a conversation with me outdoors (32%)
  • They bring their own refreshments and don’t expect a cup of tea (29%)
  • They eat away from the house, outside or in their van (28%)
  • They arrive wearing a pair of gloves (26%)
  • They don’t use my washroom facilities (21%)
  • They arrive wearing a mask or face covering, gloves and full protective suit (20%)
  • They limit conversation with me to under 15 minutes (17%)

If you had no idea where to start when it comes to health and safety requirements from the company choose for your glazing home improvement, then the above are just some of the things you could request.

If you do have home improvement companies working in your property why not tag us on Instagram or Twitter using @MyGlazing as we’d love to see the improvements you’re making. And if you do need to hire a home improvement company use our search directory and, read our Safe Guide to ensure you keep you and your tradespeople safe during the ongoing pandemic.: https://www.ggf.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/GGF-Safe-Guide-LR-1.pdf