In 2016 alone, more than 4,000 people across the UK approached Citizens’ Advice regarding a problem with their new window or door fittings.

Cowboy handymen are every homeowner’s worst nightmare; and when your home improvements are in their hands, things can turn ugly.

Chief Executive of Citizens’ Advice, Gillian Guy, spoke of the thousands of people seeking advice after shoddy work was carried out on their homes. She said many “people trying to improve their homes are finding them in a worse state than before they started.

“Dealing with botched jobs and unfinished work means many are left out of pocket and face huge disruptions to their lives.”

Room for improvements?

BBC consumer information and investigation show, Watchdog, was able to fill almost 40 series worth of programming with customer horror stories from around the UK. Scams and dodgy workmanship reported on the show made it clear – in the end, you get what you pay for.

One ‘appalled’ customer, after having new windows fitted by a rogue installer, told Watchdog he thought it was “all pretty shocking really. They demonstrated a complete lack of care, poor workmanship,” and that it was certainly not something he had expected in this trade.

On the show, a surveyor inspected a window fitted by a different company, stating that it “does not even comply with the most basic safety requirements. The window opens fully, and you can see the height of the sill, this is so dangerous, for children particularly who can open the window and fall straight out.”

What can you do?

Go to a professional – Always make sure you use a specialist firm for your home improvements, and that the installer carrying out your work is fully qualified.

For example, at Double Glazing Prices, we ensure all of our suppliers are registered with either Certass or FENSA before they are able to submit a quote on your work.

Read the reviews – Word of mouth is a powerful tool. You know what you’re hearing is a real person’s impartial opinion, not just a hard sell.

References also put a face to the name, showing that the work really was carried out to a good standard.

Get a quote before you agree to anything – We can’t stress this enough. Make sure you get a quote for your installation before the work is carried out. This gives you a chance to compare prices and find the company that best suites your needs.

And remember: unless someone has come to inspect the site first, you can never trust the figure. Instant online quotes may seem convenient, but the person you’re speaking to could well have pulled the number out of thin air.

That is when hiked up costs and hidden charges reveal themselves once the work is completed. Honest professionals will always send an installer to your property, free of charge, to survey the work before accurately quoting you.

Compare prices with Double Glazing Prices – Use the Double Glazing Prices site to compare quotes from different approved suppliers in your area.

That way, you can choose the provider that is right for you. Just click ‘Get Quotes’ now.