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Avoid the Cowboys

Converting your garage to another room of the house is potentially one of the largest investments you can make in your home. With this in mind you should do all you can to ensure that the company you choose, and the builders you work with to carry out the work is the best available. When we started there were no other companies specialising in garage conversions in the UK. There are now over 30 and given our past experience we can tell you that there are certain questions that you need to ask to ensure that you are not about to employ unprofessional or unreliable builders for your conversion.

1. Can I see your company's certificate of incorporation?

This certificate proves how long they have been in business. Every company has to start sometime but do you want your garage to be the first conversion they've attempted?

2. Can I speak to some previous customers?

This is without doubt one of the most important questions you need to ask. Every garage conversion website that you visit will be packed full of testimonials that are 'quotes' from actual letters received by the company. However you don't actually have any way of knowing if the quotes are genuine unless you can actually talk to the person who wrote it.

3. What is your VAT registration number?

By not registering for VAT but charging you the extra 20% 'VAT' they get to pocket the extra. This is a typical cowboy trick and you need to be aware of it from the start.

4. Who is actually going to convert my garage?

There are many companies working in this field (you know who you are) who claim to have their own team waiting in the wings ready to convert your garage. Unfortunately, the reality is that they are simply middlemen who collect the deposit from you and then pass your details to a local builder to complete the job. If you wanted the local builder to do the job then you could have just rung them in the first place.

5. Can I see a copy of your public and employer's liability insurance?

Every company that is carrying out work in your home should have liability insurance as accidents can happen. Without the proper insurance the company are taking a risk with not only your house and property but possibly even with your life.

6. Can I visit a recent conversion that you have completed?

No company who are confident in their work would have a problem with you seeing a recent conversion. If they refuse then you should probably ask yourself why.

We have many customers who are so pleased with the work we have carried out they are willing to let potential customers visit and see the completed conversion.

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